Rescue Journal

the truth about carol...i would rather not rescue turtles

Carol  ·  Jan. 23, 2008

the lino is in and looks great!!! the multipurpose room is put back together..i am pretty darn happy with it. frodo is quite pleased too. we moved the fridge into the room and then stuck one of his beds (he has several) up there and he is happily on top of his world!

dave and stan from turtle gardens were here for a good portion of today. tammy, greg, eva, stan, dave, and i all went out to rocko's for dinner and it was a nice way to end the day.

i had forgotten to tell everyone that eva was sick when all that stuff was happening with turtle gardens, so she was stuck at home and only had the blog to keep her up to speed. i think the combination of the meds she was on and her recent eye surgery really messed up her abilty to read and concentrate. apparently she started having a fit, thinking i was going to smithers to rescue turtles and deciding that i had finally gone completely insane. she couldn't figure out why i had to go and rescue northern turtles nor where the hell i was going to stick them when i brought them back to saints. she did try to call me but i was into one of my "too busy to answer the phone" modes and she was too sick to come here and corner me to get the real scoop. poor eva, she thought i had truly lost my mind and i laughed my ass off at her description of the things running thru her brain. little does she know that once i did rescue a turtle and ended up being traumatized.

and here is my one foray into turtles.

several years ago, one of the christian schools closed their doors, and one of the teachers left a very large red ear slider turtle behind. i was asked to take it into the shelter i was running, and what the hell.... how hard could a turtle be? so i said ok. then started the whole finding an appropriate container for the turtle to live in and then learning to care for it well too. i quickly learned that turtle habitats stink and i was forever cleaning and cleaning and more cleaning trying to keep it reasonably odor free. i tried to unload it on a reptile rescue and all i got was a short tempered lecture about how i shouldn't have it, how i couldn't let it go and how they wouldn't take it. and then the fellow told me he would not educate me on how to care for it either because i should not have it in the first place.

not helpful. so i hiked myself down to the local pet store that sold red slider turtles, fully prepared to spare no expense and to pick their brains on how to provide quality of life to a turtle. the staff were all currently busy so i went to sit quietly and observe their slider turtles and see what i could learn from just watching how they behave.

there i sat next to two side by side tanks, filled to the brim with water...the first had two large turtles and the second had an even bigger single one. i was enjoying watching them swim around and taking note of the size of the tanks, the depth of the water and the filtration system in both. suddenly the single turtle slid right over the top of the tank and right into the other tank. it went straight for one of the turtles and in the blink of an eye, it bit off the front half of that poor turtles foot. i went running to find the staff. they ended up putting put a board over the top of the tank so it couldn't get over again and chomp off any other body parts from one of it's neighbors.

and there i learned that turtles are not warm and fuzzy creatures and they are quite prehistoric in nature. we did eventually find that turtle a very good and experienced home. while i would never not help a suffering turtle, i would not fly all the way up north to rescue one either. my one and only turtle rescue was more than enough to last me a lifetime of not so pleasant memories.

if eva had known this, she would have known that there was no way in hell i was going up north to rescue any turtles.



I know the lesson!! People should NOT be keeping turtles as "pets". They are suited to their own natural habitats and should be left to live their lives free from human intrusion (although your intrusion, Carol, was surely welcome to the Red Slider already caught up in the fray).
However, while I agree with the Reptile Rescue that these animals should not be "pets" or kept by people (as with all exotic animals and reptiles) they should have been more forthcoming with information to help you and the turtle...especially as you were a fellow rescuer. And as long as people insist on bringing turtles and other reptiles into their homes there will always be a need for them to be rescued.


I'm sure there is a subtle lesson in this story, but (I confess) it is a little difficult to discern. :-)