tortoise-adventures:

Important Information for Tortoise Owners!

“Last week I had a tortoise come my way that was having regular immobilising spasms. The mature female Ibera was contorted and paralysed for periods of time and it was quite horrific to watch and made myself and her owner feel helpless beyond words. All I could do was tube fluids into her in the hope that if a poisoning case, the toxins could be flushed out of her system. To cut the next 24 hrs short, it developed that she had ingested a few fallen azalea petals the previous evening. This meant that by the following tea time, on return from work her owner discovered her in her contorted form and so the toxins were well and truly into her blood stream. I am pleased to say that with continued fluids through the night, both tubed into mouth and subcutaneously, that by the following lunchtime she was once again feeding and basking. Note Azaleas and tortoises do not belong in the same garden!!

The above photo is the tortoise post trauma” – 

Permission to share granted by Donna

Please share and make sure everyone is aware – Azaleas and tortoises do not mix!! Just a few petals is all it takes.

A very important post by the fantastic @tortoise-adventures. SAFETY FIRST.

turtleconservancy:

If you’re spending time outside this weekend in the North East make sure to keep an eye out for Wood Turtles (Glyptemys insculpta)! Wood Turtles are a beautiful and charismatic species classified as Endangered by the IUCN. They have suffered greatly from habitat loss and degradation, as well as collection for the illegal pet trade. When encountering a wild turtle it is best to leave them alone and allow them to get to their destination safely. Happy Friday!

wolfeyluvr:

I see tortoises all the time but this was at park near my house instead of the urban research area. A huge difference struck me today- where are the burrows? I couldn’t find one.

I grew to appreciate how densily populated our research area is. See they live in a residential area where development hit a hault a couple years ago. So… ¼ of the lots in the area are abandoned while the rest have houses on them. The tortoises are abundant, I mean they’re kinda everywhere. But it’s certianly not natural eh? They’re living on top of each other basically. Its over crowded. How long will they last? They look like they’re thriving right? Yet this is an animal that lives 60 years and doesnt reach reproduction age till 10 years. So thats the motivation behind our work really. Are they doing alright?

An incredibly thoughtful post. It’s true and hurts the heart to think that they are dwindling in any way and how many ways their lives as (as a species) have changed even while so many think “oh well I see a bunch so they’re fine”. I imagine it hurts to be one of the 300 creatures that their burrows provide shelter for as well.

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

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/

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.

Anonymous:

My friend has a turtle (idk the different kinds of them but possibly a yellow belly slider. we live in central NC) and she is worried about some spots on the underside of the shell. In the picture they seem red/pink and some others look brown. I was wondering if you could help me out so I can tell her. If it helps to submit a picture I will be more than happy to do that. I just want to help her out and I don’t know anything about turtles. Please help? 🙁

Hey there. Well, if unexpected pinkness shows up on a shell my first instinct would be get to a vet ASAP. I don’t have any personal experience with sliders but I do know that pinkness can be a sign of sepsis. That’s an emergency situation and a vet should be seen ASAP.  

You are welcome to submit a picture but I am not a vet and know most about tortoises. I can absolutely post it here and share my thoughts, see if anyone else can give you better info… but like I said.. pinkness to me is a scary thing IMHO and I’d go to the vet. better to be safe than sorry if you ask me.  Anyone with thoughts please reply! 

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