I would never have had Zoya if not for my first pet, the best kitty in the world, Svengali. He arrived in my life when a sorority girl living in my building my sophomore year of undergrad, who had received this kitten as a gift from a boyfriend, was stomping out the door to get rid of him just as my roommate and I were walking in. I held him in my arms and when she told me and my roommate he was going to the pound, I asked if I could have him. He was the first pet of my own and I fell so much in love with him my roommate let me take him with me when I left school. More over, I think I was so in love with him I was able to convince my friends I had birthed him (I said it enough they went with it till they forgot the truth might be different hah). Today he passed away. Liver disease. I am heart broken but relieved to know he is not in pain. He has not lived with me for many years. When my lung collapsed in 2004 it lead to my kitties Svengali and his brother Roo, who I got in NH a year or two later because sven was so amazing I needed a friend for him, being taken away from me and I was devastated. To this day, after many other things have happened to me that others would qualify as worse, I still consider it the worst thing to have happened to me. Svengali was my first baby and i am heartbroken at his loss. Roo, equally as amazing and thankfully still living a happy healthy life… though I know he will miss his brother, is doing well. He is happy in his home and I miss him terribly even while knowing he is taken care of. 

Zoya reminds me to be thankful for such incredible animals and especially thankful to sven for both being an amazing kitty and for leading me to Zoya when I didn’t think I’d ever be able to have and love pets again. if not for losing my kitties I never would have acquired this amazing tortoise and further fallen in love with her and her relative turts and torts. I will miss sven desperately still. 

So I hope you will all bear with me while I take a moment to mourn my kitten (though 11 years old at his death and 6 years living away from me) who I love like my flesh and blood. I love you Svengali. 

These got their nickname “little Houdinis” for a reason.

Many people asked me about the specs for Zoya’s enclosure. I’m putting together a post with the details and pictures and specs of her new outdoor play pen. Thought I’d begin the housing a tort discussion by sharing some of my “lessons learned” for Russian tortoise owners.  

When putting together an enclosure make sure any plastic lining you use is covered by something hard. Also a good idea to block off the corners. As you can see she’s damn strong and ready to move 🙂 (also darn adorable)

Thanks for the heads up @turtlefeed . This is disgusting. 

Snapperfest is a brutal “celebration” held annually at the Campshore Campground in Ohio County, Indiana and it needs to be stopped. Innocent snapping turtles are captured, swung by their tails and bashed against the ground as amusement. BuzzFeed, will you help me save some turtles?

Snapperfest takes place on August 20th, but it’s not too late to get in touch with these people and ask them to put a stop to this horrible event.

The Honorable Connie J. Brown Ohio County Commissioner yvonnewalton@hotmail.com 812-438-4624 The

Honorable Todd Walton Ohio County Commissioner twalton@cinergy.com The Honorable Shane Koons Ohio

County Commissioner 812-584-0378 The Honorable Connie Smith Ohio County Auditor ohioctyauditor1@earthlink.net 812-438-2062 CampshoreCampground 812-438-2135 (office) 812-290-5939 (cell) info@campshorecampground.com (via Indiana “Snapperfest” Is Turtle Torture: Pics, Videos, Links, News)

Andre, an endangered green turtle, crawls to the ocean after a 414 day stay at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach, Fla on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011. Andre was found more than a year ago, stranded on a sandbar and split open by multiple boat strikes. He had gashes in his shell, a collapsed lung and severe infections. The Loggerhead Marinelife Center put him through a 13-month rehabilitation that included groundbreaking surgeries. (AP photo/The Palm Beach Post, Lannis Waters.)

Koopa the painting Tortoise!! 

Koopa’s art is in such high demand that he actually does custom orders. Seen here, the remarkable reptile has almost finished creating a summer-themed painting requested from an Australian buyer. You might expect an artist like Koopa to take his time, but he’s quite prolific. His pieces hang in 35 of the 50 states.

A tortoise had a lucky escape from death after being spotted cruising in the slow lane of a busy motorway.

It was discovered by pet shop owner Barry Ash while he was driving along the M26 in Kent on his way to Heathrow to pick up a consignment of tropical fish.

The shocked 60-year-old owner of Ark Pets and Aquatics said: ‘I was just coming off the M20 and going on to the M26 and it was really quiet, no traffic in front of me and none behind me. 

As I was going along I just caught something out of the corner of my eye and I immediately thought ‘tortoise’.’

Pulling over to the hard shoulder, the slow escape of the animal left Mr Ash’s heart racing as he discovered the 11-inch long creature crawling along the inside lane of the motorway.  

Well below the 70mph speed limit, tortoises, some of which can live up to 150 years, travel roughly at 0.3mph if in a hurry.

The pet shop owner, from Ergeton, Kent who has stores in Maidstone, Canterbury and Gillingham, added: ‘I saw a car coming and waved it over into the other lane and quickly picked the tortoise up and put it in the back of my van. 

‘It was lucky really because at that point a stream of HGVs were coming along the road so he would have come out a lot flatter than he is now.  

‘He got a trip up to Heathrow and back and now he’s living with me and has been nicknamed M26. 

‘I don’t think he can be much more than 20 years old but he’s doing all right.  

‘He’s got quite an attitude on him though and doesn’t like being caged in so I can see why he made his escape.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2024543/Tortoise-rescued-van-driver-spotted-plodding-M26.html#ixzz1UfpBhmh5

This big guy, a Florida gopher tortoise, really wanted to show off his snack to Photographer Shane Srogi… or maybe he wanted to make sure Shane didn’t try and steal it 🙂  Gopher Tortoises are listed as a Threatened Species due to the continued loss of habitat. At least this guy seems to be living large at the Grassy Waters Wildlife Preserve in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Check out more incredible nature and wildlife photographs taken by Shane Srogi at his website http://www.shanesrogi.com/

The world’s oldest living animal has been recognized as a 178-year-old tortoise 

  The Guinness world record for the oldest living creature is the Triops cancriformis, or tadpole shrimps, which are said to be the oldest pedigree of any living creature and fossil evidence suggests that they have hardly changed in the 200 million years they have existed. 

  Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the oldest parrot- living: 39 years, held by pet parrot Fred, owned by Sandra LaFollette of Chariton, Iowa, USA.