Wisdom From The Experts Pt 4 & 5 Two Turtle and Tort experts, two related pieces of wisdom to share about turtle and tortoise anatomy! Lori Neuman-Lee, PhD (@CheloniaGirl ), prof at Utah State University, says – “I wish people knew that turtles can’t come out of their shells…because their shells are part of their...
Words of Wisdom from the Experts Pt 3- “I wish people knew how smart turtles are. They learn quickly where their food comes from; if from a human then they learn that specific person” Is what Michelle Kelly (@MichelleKellyCW), public speaker about Reptiles and amphibians, wishes more people knew about turtles and tortoises. Those of...
Words of wisdom from the experts pt 2 Check out this INCREDIBLE photo by Amanda Hipps, @biophilamanda, one of the experts who responded to our #worldturtleday question. Amanda studies the animals that live in gopher tortoise burrows. In case you didn’t know, gopher tortoise burrows are home to hundreds of other animals. Their status as endangered directly...
This year, in honor of #WorldTurtleDay, we asked herpetologists, biologists, rescues, and rehabbers, to tell us what they wish more people knew about Turtles and Tortoises. Starting today we’ll be sharing a few responses a day! Let’s learn more about the animals we love from people who have devoted their lives to protecting them. Biologist...
So this is Zuri. She’s a four year old sulcata tortoise that my sister adopted from a rescue. Her previous owners fed her an improper diet and kept her in a terrarium that was so small that she could not turn around. She’s been in rehab for the last couple of months because she doesn’t use her back legs properly. She’s doing much better than she was, but we still have to correct her when she walks and parts of her shell are still soft from her nutritional problems. My sister is extremely patient with her and she’s a really sweet tortoise. I wish that people wouldn’t neglect animals like this though. Because of the things that happened early in her life she’ll never be a completely normal tortoise and will possibly need special care for the rest of her life to address some internal problems.
This is what improper care can do to a tortoise. Please take a look,. Zuri will need special care for the rest of her life. She’s lucky to have found humans committed to caring for her. Too many aren’t that lucky.
It’s turtle breeding season, and yesterday I helped this female red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) across the road. Many turtles and tortoises will be crossing roadways to breed and lay eggs, and it’s important to know what to do if you encounter one that’s in a dangerous area. If you need to pick one up, grasp it firmly behind the front legs and carry it as low to the ground as you can. Turtles can be surprisingly strong and mobile, covered in mud, and may kick at you with their claws, so if you lose your grip, you do not want them to fall very far. For very large or potentially dangerous species like snapping turtles, you are better off escorting them across the road rather than trying to handle them. (Do NOT pick them up by their rear legs or tails!)
Only carry animals as far as absolutely necessary to get them out of the road and over the curb or other obstacles, and carry them in the direction they were heading when you spotted them. They know where they want to go, so if you turn them around they will likely go right back into the road. Do NOT relocate them. While you might think that pond 10 miles away would be turtle heaven, relocation is extremely stressful and puts them in danger as they will have to rediscover food sources and shelter and compete with existing animals. Females are especially vulnerable as they are already taxed by egg-laying. If you find an injured turtle or genuinely believe the animal would be in danger if you left it where it was, contact a local wildlife rescue or licensed rehabilitator and ask for their advice. Though it may be tempting, don’t handle or linger around the animal more than necessary. Finally, remember to wash your hands, because salmonella is no fun!
IMPORTANT!! Please read This wonderful post.
While our goal is to help turtles and tortoises, it’s important we do it in the right way! Our best intentions can cause harm for the shell!
Always move the turtle or tort in the direction its heading
Never pick them up by the back legs or tail
Cary them low to the ground in case they wiggle free
NEVER relocate a turtle or tortoise. Only take them as far as needed to get them out of immediate danger.
Pass it on!
Remember! Saving one turtle or tortoise can mean saving the life of a decade of hatchlings to come!
Zoya has something very important to say:
Monday is cancelled. Everyone can sleep in tomorrow. YAY!
Definitely DEFINITELY check out your local reptile rescues. Tortoises, especially Sulcatas, are very often abandoned. Their care is more complex than people realize, and their particularly long lifespan makes them a very readily neglected animal.
If you are unable to, or very determined to buy a young tortoise, you can look into private breeders. Just check the BOI first and ask around to see if they are a reputable breeder! Absolutely under no circumstanced buy a wild caught animal, and really reeeeally try to avoid chain stores.
As for species, “pretty large” is a relative term. I really would not suggest a sulcata, as they are the 4th (5th?) largest tortoise in the world.
I say a leopard tortoise, or a red footed tortoise. Red footed tortoises stay smaller (about 12″) but their care is vastly different from desert tortoises. They need a much higher humidity, a small amount of protein in their diet (earthworms, the occasional vertebrate).
The information in the first is more well written, but the second is decent enough.
Leopard tortoises get larger, and their diet also requires more hays, especially if they are not allowed to graze outside (PS being kept outdoors is best for most species, if your environment allows it!).
H/t to isabeljoanvalentine for letting us know about this video: Every time someone (like you!) watches this tortie nom a delicious strawberry, money gets donated to charities! Amazing!
Tortie + NOMS + Alan Rickman + Helping Charities = WIN on all fronts!
Mommy, do you think the tortie in the video would share his delicious-looking strawberry with me? I love strawberries!
Important PSA: Not all tortle species can eat fruit! Many tortle species, such as Russian (Horsfield’s) tortoises like me, should NOT eat fruit frequently: Our guts are simply not equipped to handle the sugar. If you have a tortle of your own (i.e. a turtle or a tortoise), please check its proper diet before feeding it fruit!
Important! These are wise words from Kirby! Sometimes the tastiest things are just not good for us *dramatic sigh* so watch the video again and help save humans! Then do your research on proper diet and make sure your shell baby is happy and healthy, you’ll be saving shell lives too!
BOCA RATON, Fla. – More than 600 sea turtles were released Monday back into the Atlantic Ocean during the joint effort between the Coast Guard and the Gumbo-Limbo Nature Center.
In total, 637 sea turtles were released, which included 624 Loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings, nine green sea turtles, three rehabilitated Loggerhead post-hatchling sea turtles and one Hawksbill post-hatching sea turtle.
In addition, four turtles between the ages of 6 months and one year will be released back into the wild following rehabilitation at the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center.
Today I learned so much about the rehabilitation of sea turtles and ways that I can help to keep them safe in their homes. It’s so sad to see them chased out of their natural homes & hurt by our carelessness. It was eye opening to see how even letting balloons fly off in the air can be detrimental to so many animals, especially sea turtles who mistake them for yummy jellyfish. I’m glad I had the opportunity to meet so many people who have dedicated their lives to making the oceans a lot safer for sea creatures and care enough to help the sea turtles return back home.
The incredible work of the sea turtle rescue and rehab facilities world wide. Respect and support!
I live in Michigan and I just had to have this conversation with a friend after he brought home 2 young painted turtles and posted it on Facebook.
Turtle populations are already in decline, and taking them from the wild means the won’t be breeding with other turtles. People taking them are hurting their chances. And you might think taking one doesn’t hurt, but if everybody took one there would be none left. Please, please, PLEASE, go to a breeder and purchase one. Don’t catch wild ones. Let them live happily with their families, and breed so that we don’t lose this beautiful creatures.
Also, if you see one in the road, pull over, pick it up GENTLY, and place it on the side of the street it was facing. don’t bring it elsewhere, don’t put it back, keep it going where it was heading. It is probably heading it’s breeding ground, and displacing it will cause it not to breed.
Lastly,@ turtles are not short time commitments. they are 30+ year pets that need certain requirements and that costs money. yes, turtles are cool, but make sure you can take care of one. Do your research, have the set up ahead of time, and make sure you’re stable.
Says it all. They’re made for the wild not our homes. Enjoy them from afar, help them stay alive, and adopt!
A potential tortoise owner PSA – Research before you adopt! You have to plan for now and 20 years from now. Sulcata’s grow!