Species: Terrapene Carolina Carolina (Eastern Box Turtle)
Age: 3.5 years
Dax is an adopted rescue turtle, but before being rescued her life was very different than it is now. She was born a wild turtle, and was found in someone’s backyard when she was only a hatchling. Without knowing how to properly care for a box turtle, the person kept her for the next few years of her life. Dax was not given the kind of habitat she needed, or the right diet, as evident by her now deformed shell. I don’t know the specifics of the short comings of the care this individual gave her, but from the account of those who rescued her, it was terrible.
This little turtle should have been left in the wild where she could’ve lived a long life and possibly contributed her genes to the slowly reproducing Eastern Box turtle. These box turtle are dwindling in numbers, and their infant mortality rates are very high. Not to mention that many adults are injured or killed on roadways often. Wild turtles should be left wild. Please either adopt from a rescue or buy captive bred.
When Dax was finally brought into a turtle rescue (Mid-Atlantic Turtle & Tortoise Society), she had metabolic bone disease. For a full year, she was fostered by one of the group’s members, and her health turned around. She is permanently deformed, and will likely not grow much larger than she is currently (3” straight carapace length). Because of this deformity, she may also not live the same long lifespan of an average box turtle, which is normally 60 to 100 years.
Despite her difficult start in life, she has plenty life and personality in that little turtle body of hers.
I was actually contacted by M.A.T.T.S. since I had adopted from them before, and they inquired if I would be interested in taking her. I had to think it over, but eventually, the turtle bug got hold of me and I said yes.
In March of 2013, she was driven down from Maryland to Florida to her new home. From the first moment I saw her little curious head look up at me, I knew that she had plenty of personality. She’s very observant even now. 🙂
After settling in to her new habitat, Dax has become used to the daily routines of eating healthy, soaking, and chilling out under her basking lamp.
Her diet consists of veggies, greens, some fruits, Mazuri turtle pellets, earthworms, crickets, and cuttlebone. She also gets the occasionally treat of cooked chicken, tuna, or egg.
Her habitat is a large plastic tub with a mixture of Eco-Earth and Sphagnum moss for substrate, with one side being more moist than the other. She has two or three hides, a water pan for soaking, fake plants, and UVB and heat lamps over head.
I feed her 3-4 times a week outside her tank to avoid messes, and her habitat is sprayed 1-2 times daily.
Dax was adopted from the good folks over at MATTS http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/matts.html
Check them out if you’re interested in giving a turtle in need a forever home!