Riding along in my automobile, my turtles beside me at the wheel I stole a kiss from Peanut at the turn of a mile… yep, that’s about how my life song goes. My pets are my life. So it comes as a surprise to some that I’ve decided not to take my yellow belly slider turtles with me on my first vacation of the year. I’m keeping their comfort in mind with this decision.
I’m a little panicked at leaving them with a caretaker but I think it’s the best decision based on the fact that we’re already taking a small zoo with us so we’re driving this year. We’ll have a bottle fed kitten along and that’s a job in itself. Because of my back issues, it will take us 2 days to get there and 2 days coming back. I don’t have any way to keep my turtles’ heat and UVA/UVB lamps on nor their tank heater on during the trip. I could send them on ahead air flight but to leave them completely alone for the flight stresses me to even think about.
That’s the bad news. The good news is, they’re thriving. They both had some minor health issues when I got them but you couldn’t tell it now to watch them swimming and eating. They have grown almost 3 times their size since being here which tells me they are both females. Female slider turtles grow to twice the size of males so they don’t drown while breeding which is why I believe they’re females. I have cut back their meals slightly to make sure I’m not over feeding them.
I bought them a kiddy pool and I let them spend several hours a day in it basking in the sunlight. I’m trying to teach them how to live in the wild. When they’re big enough to set free, I plan to do just that. They haven’t decided they love their pool yet and still refuse to eat in it but I’m hoping in time they will, because the longer they don’t, the bigger the chance I’m not going to be able to set them free. They can get plenty of exercise in the pool and as the storms move on and out (this year is turning out to be just as bad as last year weather-wise), I’ll be able to leave them out for longer periods of time. Pokey still loves basking out of the water more than Scooter. She’ll stretch her legs and neck as far as she can and it’s so stinkin cute. Scooter is still bossy and tries to scoot her away from the food.
If you have the time and the love to give of yourself to worthwhile causes, I hope you’ll join the turtle rescue league. It’s free to join and will give you the info you need to help save turtles that are in danger or need fostering. If you don’t want to become a member, you can still volunteer to do drive arounds and move turtles off the roads into a safe location. This is especially important between April and December. If you are unable to do any of these, they are always looking for volunteers to do fundraising and advertising.
Here’s a little turtle FYI for you: “The average turtle shell has around 60 bones.”
Turtle waves from Pokey and Scooter.