Turtles Are Tricky

I know you wouldn’t think so, but caring for and understanding turtles is pretty tricky.  And, just to clarify, I’m talking about pet turtles and tortoises.  (I know they are not really the same thing, but just think of them as fraternal twins, they’re the same, but different).  Anyhoo, I thought I would share some turtle information with you in hopes you will refer to it before you purchase, adopt, kidnap or steal a turtle for your own.

My turtle experience really did not end well.  For the turtle.  Probably not that well for my mother either*.  Long story short, a few years back we finally gave in a purchased a much-desired turtle for the kids.  Said turtle also required the purchase of an aquarium, assorted sizes of turtle swimming pools/water dishes, shredded barky bedding and a half-log about 8″ long for the turtle to use as it’s house.  Turtle #1 (yes, there was more than one) was the kind that eats live crickets.  (I really don’t know how a turtle is supposed to catch a cricket, but I didn’t make the rules).  Turtle #1 pooped a ton on the way home, never ate very much and spent a lot of time in its water bowl trying to drown itself.  Turtle #1 died about 37 seconds after the return warranty expired.  After further research, I believe the turtle was sick when we got it. (I refer to the turtle as “it” because the people at Pet Smart informed me you can’t tell what sex a turtle is.  This is probably up for debate).

Turtle #2 was far more hearty and was the kind that eats lettuce and fruit (no thank you to more live crickets).  #2 never slept in the log house though.  It used the log to try to kill itself.  It would climb up onto the log and then walk waaaaayyyyy over the edge and hang over until it fell on its head and flipped onto its back.  It would then spend a good bit of time getting back upright and then it would start over.  After a few months, a friend wanted to know how much it cost to buy a turtle and all its accoutrements.  Before she had finished her sentence, Turtle #2 and all its stuff was at her front door, free of charge.

Final Turtle Information You Should Know

Turtles will not come to you when you put them on the floor and call their names.

It is really gross and complicated to try to get crickets out of a plastic bag and into a turtle aquarium.

Turtles are not very smart. (see previous comments regarding falls on head and self-drowning).

Turtles sometimes poop in their water bowl and then drink that water.

  • Chillaxing Turtle 1 of 4
    Chillaxing Turtle
    No matter what time of day, this likely what your turtle will be doing. Nothing.
  • Gagging Turtle 2 of 4
    Gagging Turtle
    This turtle is gagging on a cricket because crickets are a nasty thing to eat.
  • Pilates Turtle 3 of 4
    Pilates Turtle
    When you are not looking, a turtle may occasionally do pilates. This is the swan position.
  • Eyes-Are-Bigger-Than-Its-Stomach Turtle 4 of 4
    Eyes-Are-Bigger-Than-Its-Stomach Turtle
    This turtle is not smart enough to know you cannot eat something bigger than your head.

*photo credit to stock.xchng

*Almost Forgot!  Turtle #1’s demise was a problem for my mother because when it died it was too cold outside to bury it, so I put it in a ziplock bag and put it in the freezer until we were able to dig a hole.  My mother, while visiting, opened the freezer and pulled out what she thought to be a frozen bagel.  She’s still a little bit mad.

You can read more by Amy at her blog Donkeys To College.  In between posts you can come join the fun on Facebook and Twitter.

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Article Posted 4 years Ago

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