Today marks the 5 year anniversary of the oil rig disaster that lead to largest oil spill in history.  134 million gallons of oil and pounds of gas were released into the Gulf of Mexico. The immediate impact of the spill on the wildlife was clear. Though its less visible today, the effects of the spill continue today.

A report was released by the national wildlife federation today, highlights some of the many ongoing issues identified during their continued monitoring of the situation in the Gulf.

The complex functioning of our ecosystem points to a broader impact, through breeding, migration, etc. that can only be identified through monitoring over time. The effects of substances used to break up the oil is still unknown, and the oil itself continues to line the floor of the gulf to this day.

What does the report say about our sea turtle friends?  Like for most of the wildlife affected, the story continues to unfold.

Previous estimates of deaths of Kemp Ridley sea turtles, due to the spill,  have proven far smaller than the reality. Current studies estimate that 27-65 thousand Kemp Ridleys died in 2010.

Prior to the spill, conservation efforts had nest numbers increasing by ~ 15% annually.  After the spill, numbers dropped by 35%, and though they recovered the year after, they have fallen again.  Because Kemp Ridley’s don’t reproduce till age 12, the impact of the spill is showing itself again.

One of the main sources of food for the Kemp Ridley are some of the more seriously impacted creatures in the gulf, namely blue crabs. Research indicates that a change in the turtles foraging habits was seen starting 2011.

Loggerhead sea turtles will also require time and research to see

Hatchling and juvenile Loggerhead sea turtles live in Sargassum, a large amount of which was burned in order to contain the oil during the spill. Studies continue on how the loss has impacted them.

Loggerhead turtle eggs are susceptible to the absorption of chemicals used to disperse oil, because of this a large number of nests were relocated during the clean up. Because hatchlings return to their hatching location to nest, this could lead to issues in the future.

Sea turtles are just few of the many that continue to feel the effects of the 2010 spill,  bottle nose dolphins in the area is being investigated, Loons, Laughing Gulls, tuna, and so many more have and continue to see losses. it is clear that further monitoring is required to truly grasp the breadth of the impact of this disaster.

Take some time to read the report by the National Wildlife Federation

Sign the petition to make BP take responsibility and stop holding up restoration efforts.

(Source: National Wildlife Federation

Feeding Hermann’s Tortoises

future-wildlife-veterinarian:

image

As my tortoise has just emerged from
hibernation, I think it is a good time to write about the correct nutrition for
tortoises. I’ve accumulated information from several websites and books, but
it’s important to do your own research and ask exotic animal veterinarians for advice
as well. This information applies specifically to the tortoise species that I own, the Hermann’s tortoise.

  • Hermann’s tortoises are
    herbivorous (but may occasionally pick up a snail/slug if kept in the garden)
  • The diet should be high in
    fibre calcium and low in protein, fat, carbohydrate, sugar, and phosphorous
  • The basis of the diet should
    be non-toxic green leafy plants and flowers  that are pesticide-free
    • Green leafy plants are high in calcium, fiber and minerals
    • Chop up enough plants to make a mixed salad that they can eat in
      half an hour and give to the tortoise to eat five to six times a week
    • Options
      • Dandelion
      • Nettle
      • Bindweed
      • Daisy
      • Prickly
        pear cactus
      • Ice plant
      • Plantains (the
        weed, not fruit)
      • Mulberry leaves
      • California
        poppy
      • Bermuda grass
      • Purslane
      • Petunia
      • White clover
      • Hibiscus
      • Honeysuckle
      • Curly kale
      • Brussel
        tops (not Brussel sprouts themselves)
      • Celeriac
      • Coriander,
        parsley, rosemary, oregano
      • Rocket
      • Shredded
        carrot, artichoke, fennel
      • Leaves of
        strawberry, raspberry, blackcurrant and blackberry plants
      • Salad greens:
        endive, escarole, watercress, lamb’s lettuce, romaine (occasionally)
  • Provide a calcium and vitamin supplement
    daily to avoid metabolic bone disease and vitamin deficiencies (ideally with
    calcium carbonate, vitamin D3 and other trace elements, and without phosphorous
    and amino acids)
      • Vitamin D
        is needed to absorb calcium from the digestive tract
      • Calcium
        sources: calcium carbonate powders (to dust over the food daily), or a
        cuttlebone (can be left in the enclosure for tortoise to nibble on)
  • Fresh water should be available at all
    times
  • Food to avoid
    • Peas, beans,
      cat or dog food – the liver and kidneys can’t handle high levels of protein,
      and beans contain phytic acid which blocks calcium absorption
    • High
      levels of fruit (including tomato) – fruit causes intestinal problems including
      intestinal parasites and diarrhoea
    • Onions
    • Iceberg lettuce
    • Buttercup
    • To give in
      very tiny portions (or not at all): spinach, broccoli, Brussel sprouts,
      cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, beet greens, turnip greens, mustard
      greens (vegetables of the Brassica family)
      – contain substances that block calcium absorption

Websites I used if you
want more information on other aspects of husbandry and more detailed diet
information:

This painted turtle was brought to the New England Wildlife Center with a cracked shell. The fantastic folks at the center worked all their magic, using zip ties to pull the shell together as you would with a human. Sadly, the poor guys back legs were paralyzed so no going back into the wild. He did find a great forever home, however, where he’ll have a safe and happy life.

This is just one example of the incredible work the New England Wildlife Center does on a daily basis, for turtles, tortoises, birds, and more. The crazy winter storms in New England  haven’t just affected us, they have seriously impacted the wildlife of New England. The center has taken in a wide range of animals suffering from hypothermia, malnutrition, and other injuries. Their resources are being eaten up but the storms aren’t stopping and the animals keep coming in. If you are able to donate even little to help the center keep up with the high numbers of patients this winter, please do! They could really use the help. And spread the word, that’s helping too.

Click here to Donate  

Check out the amazing work the NEWC does, caring for the animals and training future rehabbers as well. http://wildlife-education-center.com/

little-tiger-roar:

Hey there Waffles! Does your skin ever peel like a snake or lizards does or does it need moisturizing? I love turtles and tortoises but sadly haven’t been around one long enough to know.

wafflesworld:

Hello! I shed when I was about six months old and then again a couple of months later. We don’t shed like a snake or lizard does but rather get flaky skin that comes of kind of like how people get a sun burn. Once I did my shed, my skin became less soft and tissue paper like and became thicker and more leathery.

Wise Waffles knows whats up. 

Anonymous:

Hi there! Do you have any comments about getting a tort to actually eat hay? I’ve had my little guy for about a year now (He’s about 2yrs) and he refuses to touch hay or grass pellets. I keep these items in front of him just in case he decides today’s the DAY, but no luck. He eats greens and veggies readily, but I know they are supposed to have a drier diet than that (mostly). In that case- I’d like know what veggies are ok to feed him daily….. picky torts..

This is a great question. We battle with this too. One thing that helps me is grinding up the hay in a coffee grinder (not one you use for coffee!!) and then sprinkle it on the greens. if they’re a little wet (spritz them with water) it’ll stick. I’ll do this to some of the radicchio (her favorite… to a fault hah). This will sometimes work. I’ve read on some lists that Russian tortoises prefer orchard hay to timothy hay.. so I’m in the process of switching things up to see if I can get her to eat more. Unfortunately its a battle of wills. Sometimes you just have to do the parental thing and not give in to those cute faces by giving them the treats they like best (its hard and now I feel I have betrayed the turtpocalypse.. SORRY ZOYA PANTS!).

As far as diet goes I’d stick to the whats listed on that site I posted earlier. (russiantortoise.net) There are a lot of different greens you can try this with. Prickly pear cactus (the pads AND the fruit) is great for tortoises, though its hard to find. some specialty grocery stores have them (they are also known as Nopales). I’ve been able to find the fruit of the prickly pear plant in the produce section of my grocery store lately. It’s usually in the small section of ‘ exotic fruits’. They are oval shape and red if ripe (green if not). Heres a picture, The pads with the fruit on top:

I also allow Zoya to have some apple a couple times a year (the pectin in apples is good for torts but they still have lots of sugar so not often) and a bit of pumpkin on halloween, no more than that. Zoya had parasites when she was younger and even though she was treated (and her fecal exams have been clear every year since) I don’t want to risk giving her sugary foods. The thing to remember is that there is a small number of parasites living in the tortoise tummy. Sugar causes these parasites to “bloom” aka grow, reproduce, take over, and that’s when you get a problem.

Hope this helps! I know some people do fruit but its just too much risk for something that doesn’t do anything good for them. MHO.

Check it out! Jonathan, the now 183 yr old tortoise, Is considered to be the world’s oldest land creature. 

His hatch year is approximated in or prior to 1832. From a report in the Telegraph:

“Jonathan, of the species testudinidae cryptodira, was brought to the British territory of St Helena, a tiny island in the South Atlantic, in 1882, when he was already mature, meaning that he was at least 50 years old. He is thought to have been shipped from the Seychelles.”

Age has not stopped him from nomming like a boss and hamming it up for the camera. While one of the earliest photos of him was taken with a war prisoner circa 1901, he continues to show off his handsome face in exchange for noms and head rubs. You go, Jonathan! Make sure they treat you like the royalty you are.

Sources &  more info:

Telegraph.co.uk’s and see more footage of Jonathan in action

Headlines and Global News Online

Been asked by a few people about the proper way to bathe a tortoise. The important thing to remember is that what we call a tortoise bath, isn’t really about cleaning at all. A bath, aka a soak, is actually how our tortoises get hydrated. NO SOAP INVOLVED! Your torts are absorbing water through their bums and their scales. Clean water is vital.

  • Step 1: Get a container, not too big and not to small. Its best that the container be opaque. If they can see through it they’ll get stressed out and the escape attempts will be more likely. They’ll probably still try, but its less stressful this way. Some humans like to use the sink or the bathtub, thats just fine as long as its clean and no chemicals are in there. You can figure out what works best for your shell baby after and go from there
  • Step 2: Fill with enough water to reach the start of the carapace (top shell). You want to cover the leggies and tortie butt but not more than that. Your shell baby should be able to stretch out in the water while still keeping its head above water. For Zoya this is about an inch or so deep or where just above the indentation in the container.
  • Step 3: The temperature of the water should be “ baby bath warm”. You aren’t trying to boil your tortie! It should be hot but not uncomfortable to touch. Your shell will be in the bath for a while so you want it to stay warm.
  • Step 4: Tortie time! Get your unsuspecting shell baby and place him or her in the bath. After a while, they just might find they like it.. at first at least. Set a timer (or just keep track) for 15-20 minutes.
  • Step 5: Keep track of your shell to make sure the water stays warm. Sometimes you’ll need to add some hot water to keep temps up. Expect that you’ll see some pee or poo in there. The warm water stimulates their bums and Poo happens! This is normal and a good thing.
  • Step 6: When time is up, take your tortie out of the water. Congratulate them on making a good poopie or peepee, if they’ve made any, or just congratulate them on a bath well done. They like the accolades. I like to wrap Zoya in a towel and give her a little head rub (she likes this and will stick out her neck for it… Some don’t… so you should go with what they like). Then put him or her back under their basking lamp to keep warm.
    •  Note: Its important to put them back in a warm spot so that they keep their temperature up and don’t catch cold. 🙂

Thats it! Not that complicated. You should soak your tort 2x a week at least, more if they’re dehydrated. As long as you’re getting them hydrated, do what works best for you and your shell. The more time you spend with them the more you’ll learn what works for both of you.

Been asked by a few people about the proper way to bathe a tortoise. The important thing to remember is that what we call a tortoise bath, isn’t really about cleaning at all. A bath, aka a soak, is actually how our tortoises get hydrated. NO SOAP INVOLVED! Your torts are absorbing water through their bums and their scales. Clean water is vital.

  • Step 1: Get a container, not too big and not to small. Its best that the container be opaque. If they can see through it they’ll get stressed out and the escape attempts will be more likely. They’ll probably still try, but its less stressful this way. Some humans like to use the sink or the bathtub, thats just fine as long as its clean and no chemicals are in there. You can figure out what works best for your shell baby after and go from there
  • Step 2: Fill with enough water to reach the start of the carapace (top shell). You want to cover the leggies and tortie butt but not more than that. Your shell baby should be able to stretch out in the water while still keeping its head above water. For Zoya this is about an inch or so deep or where just above the indentation in the container.
  • Step 3: The temperature of the water should be “ baby bath warm”. You aren’t trying to boil your tortie! It should be hot but not uncomfortable to touch. Your shell will be in the bath for a while so you want it to stay warm.
  • Step 4: Tortie time! Get your unsuspecting shell baby and place him or her in the bath. After a while, they just might find they like it.. at first at least. Set a timer (or just keep track) for 15-20 minutes.
  • Step 5: Keep track of your shell to make sure the water stays warm. Sometimes you’ll need to add some hot water to keep temps up. Expect that you’ll see some pee or poo in there. The warm water stimulates their bums and Poo happens! This is normal and a good thing.
  • Step 6: When time is up, take your tortie out of the water. Congratulate them on making a good poopie or peepee, if they’ve made any, or just congratulate them on a bath well done. They like the accolades. I like to wrap Zoya in a towel and give her a little head rub (she likes this and will stick out her neck for it… Some don’t… so you should go with what they like). Then put him or her back under their basking lamp to keep warm.
    •  Note: Its important to put them back in a warm spot so that they keep their temperature up and don’t catch cold. 🙂

Thats it! Not that complicated. You should soak your tort 2x a week at least, more if they’re dehydrated. As long as you’re getting them hydrated, do what works best for you and your shell. The more time you spend with them the more you’ll learn what works for both of you.

Been asked by a few people about the proper way to bathe a tortoise. The important thing to remember is that what we call a tortoise bath, isn’t really about cleaning at all. A bath, aka a soak, is actually how our tortoises get hydrated. NO SOAP INVOLVED! Your torts are absorbing water through their bums and their scales. Clean water is vital.

  • Step 1: Get a container, not too big and not to small. Its best that the container be opaque. If they can see through it they’ll get stressed out and the escape attempts will be more likely. They’ll probably still try, but its less stressful this way. Some humans like to use the sink or the bathtub, thats just fine as long as its clean and no chemicals are in there. You can figure out what works best for your shell baby after and go from there
  • Step 2: Fill with enough water to reach the start of the carapace (top shell). You want to cover the leggies and tortie butt but not more than that. Your shell baby should be able to stretch out in the water while still keeping its head above water. For Zoya this is about an inch or so deep or where just above the indentation in the container.
  • Step 3: The temperature of the water should be “ baby bath warm”. You aren’t trying to boil your tortie! It should be hot but not uncomfortable to touch. Your shell will be in the bath for a while so you want it to stay warm.
  • Step 4: Tortie time! Get your unsuspecting shell baby and place him or her in the bath. After a while, they just might find they like it.. at first at least. Set a timer (or just keep track) for 15-20 minutes.
  • Step 5: Keep track of your shell to make sure the water stays warm. Sometimes you’ll need to add some hot water to keep temps up. Expect that you’ll see some pee or poo in there. The warm water stimulates their bums and Poo happens! This is normal and a good thing.
  • Step 6: When time is up, take your tortie out of the water. Congratulate them on making a good poopie or peepee, if they’ve made any, or just congratulate them on a bath well done. They like the accolades. I like to wrap Zoya in a towel and give her a little head rub (she likes this and will stick out her neck for it… Some don’t… so you should go with what they like). Then put him or her back under their basking lamp to keep warm.
    •  Note: Its important to put them back in a warm spot so that they keep their temperature up and don’t catch cold. 🙂

Thats it! Not that complicated. You should soak your tort 2x a week at least, more if they’re dehydrated. As long as you’re getting them hydrated, do what works best for you and your shell. The more time you spend with them the more you’ll learn what works for both of you.

Been asked by a few people about the proper way to bathe a tortoise. The important thing to remember is that what we call a tortoise bath, isn’t really about cleaning at all. A bath, aka a soak, is actually how our tortoises get hydrated. NO SOAP INVOLVED! Your torts are absorbing water through their bums and their scales. Clean water is vital.

  • Step 1: Get a container, not too big and not to small. Its best that the container be opaque. If they can see through it they’ll get stressed out and the escape attempts will be more likely. They’ll probably still try, but its less stressful this way. Some humans like to use the sink or the bathtub, thats just fine as long as its clean and no chemicals are in there. You can figure out what works best for your shell baby after and go from there
  • Step 2: Fill with enough water to reach the start of the carapace (top shell). You want to cover the leggies and tortie butt but not more than that. Your shell baby should be able to stretch out in the water while still keeping its head above water. For Zoya this is about an inch or so deep or where just above the indentation in the container.
  • Step 3: The temperature of the water should be “ baby bath warm”. You aren’t trying to boil your tortie! It should be hot but not uncomfortable to touch. Your shell will be in the bath for a while so you want it to stay warm.
  • Step 4: Tortie time! Get your unsuspecting shell baby and place him or her in the bath. After a while, they just might find they like it.. at first at least. Set a timer (or just keep track) for 15-20 minutes.
  • Step 5: Keep track of your shell to make sure the water stays warm. Sometimes you’ll need to add some hot water to keep temps up. Expect that you’ll see some pee or poo in there. The warm water stimulates their bums and Poo happens! This is normal and a good thing.
  • Step 6: When time is up, take your tortie out of the water. Congratulate them on making a good poopie or peepee, if they’ve made any, or just congratulate them on a bath well done. They like the accolades. I like to wrap Zoya in a towel and give her a little head rub (she likes this and will stick out her neck for it… Some don’t… so you should go with what they like). Then put him or her back under their basking lamp to keep warm.
    •  Note: Its important to put them back in a warm spot so that they keep their temperature up and don’t catch cold. 🙂

Thats it! Not that complicated. You should soak your tort 2x a week at least, more if they’re dehydrated. As long as you’re getting them hydrated, do what works best for you and your shell. The more time you spend with them the more you’ll learn what works for both of you.

Been asked by a few people about the proper way to bathe a tortoise. The important thing to remember is that what we call a tortoise bath, isn’t really about cleaning at all. A bath, aka a soak, is actually how our tortoises get hydrated. NO SOAP INVOLVED! Your torts are absorbing water through their bums and their scales. Clean water is vital.

  • Step 1: Get a container, not too big and not to small. Its best that the container be opaque. If they can see through it they’ll get stressed out and the escape attempts will be more likely. They’ll probably still try, but its less stressful this way. Some humans like to use the sink or the bathtub, thats just fine as long as its clean and no chemicals are in there. You can figure out what works best for your shell baby after and go from there
  • Step 2: Fill with enough water to reach the start of the carapace (top shell). You want to cover the leggies and tortie butt but not more than that. Your shell baby should be able to stretch out in the water while still keeping its head above water. For Zoya this is about an inch or so deep or where just above the indentation in the container.
  • Step 3: The temperature of the water should be “ baby bath warm”. You aren’t trying to boil your tortie! It should be hot but not uncomfortable to touch. Your shell will be in the bath for a while so you want it to stay warm.
  • Step 4: Tortie time! Get your unsuspecting shell baby and place him or her in the bath. After a while, they just might find they like it.. at first at least. Set a timer (or just keep track) for 15-20 minutes.
  • Step 5: Keep track of your shell to make sure the water stays warm. Sometimes you’ll need to add some hot water to keep temps up. Expect that you’ll see some pee or poo in there. The warm water stimulates their bums and Poo happens! This is normal and a good thing.
  • Step 6: When time is up, take your tortie out of the water. Congratulate them on making a good poopie or peepee, if they’ve made any, or just congratulate them on a bath well done. They like the accolades. I like to wrap Zoya in a towel and give her a little head rub (she likes this and will stick out her neck for it… Some don’t… so you should go with what they like). Then put him or her back under their basking lamp to keep warm.
    •  Note: Its important to put them back in a warm spot so that they keep their temperature up and don’t catch cold. 🙂

Thats it! Not that complicated. You should soak your tort 2x a week at least, more if they’re dehydrated. As long as you’re getting them hydrated, do what works best for you and your shell. The more time you spend with them the more you’ll learn what works for both of you.

Been asked by a few people about the proper way to bathe a tortoise. The important thing to remember is that what we call a tortoise bath, isn’t really about cleaning at all. A bath, aka a soak, is actually how our tortoises get hydrated. NO SOAP INVOLVED! Your torts are absorbing water through their bums and their scales. Clean water is vital.

  • Step 1: Get a container, not too big and not to small. Its best that the container be opaque. If they can see through it they’ll get stressed out and the escape attempts will be more likely. They’ll probably still try, but its less stressful this way. Some humans like to use the sink or the bathtub, thats just fine as long as its clean and no chemicals are in there. You can figure out what works best for your shell baby after and go from there
  • Step 2: Fill with enough water to reach the start of the carapace (top shell). You want to cover the leggies and tortie butt but not more than that. Your shell baby should be able to stretch out in the water while still keeping its head above water. For Zoya this is about an inch or so deep or where just above the indentation in the container.
  • Step 3: The temperature of the water should be “ baby bath warm”. You aren’t trying to boil your tortie! It should be hot but not uncomfortable to touch. Your shell will be in the bath for a while so you want it to stay warm.
  • Step 4: Tortie time! Get your unsuspecting shell baby and place him or her in the bath. After a while, they just might find they like it.. at first at least. Set a timer (or just keep track) for 15-20 minutes.
  • Step 5: Keep track of your shell to make sure the water stays warm. Sometimes you’ll need to add some hot water to keep temps up. Expect that you’ll see some pee or poo in there. The warm water stimulates their bums and Poo happens! This is normal and a good thing.
  • Step 6: When time is up, take your tortie out of the water. Congratulate them on making a good poopie or peepee, if they’ve made any, or just congratulate them on a bath well done. They like the accolades. I like to wrap Zoya in a towel and give her a little head rub (she likes this and will stick out her neck for it… Some don’t… so you should go with what they like). Then put him or her back under their basking lamp to keep warm.
    •  Note: Its important to put them back in a warm spot so that they keep their temperature up and don’t catch cold. 🙂

Thats it! Not that complicated. You should soak your tort 2x a week at least, more if they’re dehydrated. As long as you’re getting them hydrated, do what works best for you and your shell. The more time you spend with them the more you’ll learn what works for both of you.

Been asked by a few people about the proper way to bathe a tortoise. The important thing to remember is that what we call a tortoise bath, isn’t really about cleaning at all. A bath, aka a soak, is actually how our tortoises get hydrated. NO SOAP INVOLVED! Your torts are absorbing water through their bums and their scales. Clean water is vital.

  • Step 1: Get a container, not too big and not to small. Its best that the container be opaque. If they can see through it they’ll get stressed out and the escape attempts will be more likely. They’ll probably still try, but its less stressful this way. Some humans like to use the sink or the bathtub, thats just fine as long as its clean and no chemicals are in there. You can figure out what works best for your shell baby after and go from there
  • Step 2: Fill with enough water to reach the start of the carapace (top shell). You want to cover the leggies and tortie butt but not more than that. Your shell baby should be able to stretch out in the water while still keeping its head above water. For Zoya this is about an inch or so deep or where just above the indentation in the container.
  • Step 3: The temperature of the water should be “ baby bath warm”. You aren’t trying to boil your tortie! It should be hot but not uncomfortable to touch. Your shell will be in the bath for a while so you want it to stay warm.
  • Step 4: Tortie time! Get your unsuspecting shell baby and place him or her in the bath. After a while, they just might find they like it.. at first at least. Set a timer (or just keep track) for 15-20 minutes.
  • Step 5: Keep track of your shell to make sure the water stays warm. Sometimes you’ll need to add some hot water to keep temps up. Expect that you’ll see some pee or poo in there. The warm water stimulates their bums and Poo happens! This is normal and a good thing.
  • Step 6: When time is up, take your tortie out of the water. Congratulate them on making a good poopie or peepee, if they’ve made any, or just congratulate them on a bath well done. They like the accolades. I like to wrap Zoya in a towel and give her a little head rub (she likes this and will stick out her neck for it… Some don’t… so you should go with what they like). Then put him or her back under their basking lamp to keep warm.
    •  Note: Its important to put them back in a warm spot so that they keep their temperature up and don’t catch cold. 🙂

Thats it! Not that complicated. You should soak your tort 2x a week at least, more if they’re dehydrated. As long as you’re getting them hydrated, do what works best for you and your shell. The more time you spend with them the more you’ll learn what works for both of you.

In cased you missed it, another success story is underway in the Galapagos Islands! Baby Saddleback tortoises have been found on the Island Pinzón for the first time in over 100 years!

This particular species of Galapagos tortoises was near extinction as a result of a rat infestation on the island. Measures were taken to rid the island of rats and, apparently, they have been more successful than anticipated. According to a blog post by Dr. James Gibbs, a conservation biologist SUNY-ESF who has worked on the giant tortoise restoration initiative with Galapagos Conservancy for years,

“By the end of our trip, the team had encountered over 300 tortoises, resulting in an overall population estimate well over 500, a near tripling of the population from the 100-200 very old individuals encountered on Pinzón when the Galapagos National Park was established in 1959. This welcome change, after centuries of exploitation, is a direct result of the successful captive rearing and repatriation program and now the elimination of the rats”

Fantastic news for the Saddleback tortoise, though not all inhabitants of the island have been as lucky. For us tortoise lovers, and the many individuals and organizations working to save them from extinction, its a win. The hope is that the Saddleback tortoise population on the island of Pinzón will continue to grow and find stability, like the Espanola giant Galapagos tortoises have ( one of the Giant Tortoise Restoration Initiative’s biggest successes).  Perhaps we can make Lonesome George more than the last of his kind, make him the last giant tortoise extinction. Wishful thinking? 

Sources & Further Reading:

Anonymous:

Hello, I know you don’t really specialize in turtles but I was hoping you could spin me in the direction of some blogs that might. One of my coworkers informed everyone today that he was tired of taking care of his 2 turtles and intended to release them into the wild, so I immediately volunteered to take them on to avoid this ridiculous situation. I’m more than happy to take care of them just wondering where the best info is as I want to make sure they have the best care. Thank you so much

crestedglory:

reptile-talk:

I’ll signal boost this one, off the top of my head I don’t know any turtle blogs. 

Hey followers! Please help anon out and recommend them some blogs about turtles! :>

tort-time might be able to help

Hey there Anon! Always happy to help! There are a lot of turtle and tortoise owners with great resources here on tumblr. You’re awesome for volunteering. That situation wouldn’t have ended well for anyone involved. In most states Its actually illegal to release captive turtles into the wild. Aside from them not likely surviving, which isn’t an aside really, they can contaminate native populations of turtles and other animals. Tell your coworker that!

Now the important stuff. Obviously the first thing you need to find out is what kind of turtles they are. water? land? both? That’s the first step in finding out how best to care for them. Once you can figure that out I know lots of us will be happy to point you towards the best care information for their species.  You can be certain you will need a UVB lamp and some heat/UVA light as well. UVB is super important to all turtles and tortoises. Without it they get sick, they can’t metabolize calcium and become deformed… its

One thing  you can be sure of, you will need a UVB lamp and some heat/UVA light as well. No if and or shell butts about it. UVB is super important to all turtles and tortoises. Without it they get sick, they can’t metabolize calcium and become deformed… it’s all around no good! 

Diet, temperatures, and types of enclosure are different depending on what kind of turtle (or tortoise! never know.. ) they are.  

Hope this helps some!

reptile-talk crestedglory