Monday, November 24, 2008

A Turtle Named Shell

Three and a half years ago, Eric rescued a tiny turtle from the parking lot at our library. He brought it home in an empty styrofoam cup. And we instantly had a new family pet.

We had no idea how to take care of a turtle. We quickly did a little research online and at a pet store. Neither was much help. We bought a sterilite shoe box and some reptile food. We filled the box with about an inch of water and hoped we would figure out what we were doing eventually.

Isabelle was tasked with naming the turtle. She initially wanted to name him "Turtley." Eric and I steered her away from that idea. Her next choice was "Shell." So now we had a turtle named Shell. We knew his name, but that was still about all we knew about this new pet of ours.

Shell seemed happy - as happy as a turtle could seem, I suppose. He walked around his little box and ate a bit of food everyday. To say he thrived would be inaccurate, but he did survive.

About a year and a half ago, we decided Shell needed to move up in the world and stretch his turtle legs. We bought him an actual tank. We filled the bottom with some pebbles and then added water. This tank had much more water than the inch or so he had been used to. We weren't sure what would happen.

We soon found out. Apparently, turtles like water. Did you know that? We didn't. We were amazed. It became a running joke in our family. "Turtles like water!"

Shell swam and swam in his new tank. He was finally thriving. We watched him grow from a tiny little thing into a good-sized turtle. We were captivated with him.

After about a year in his new digs, Shell started to seem like he needed more space. Eric and I knew it was time to start watching for a new tank for him.

A few weeks ago we were at a rummage sale and Eric found a full-sized aquarium with filter for $4. We set it up this weekend and Shell is now living in the lap of turtle luxury. He has been more active in the past day then he was in the past month! And we are all captivated with him once again. We can't wait to see how big he gets now.The only problem is that we still don't know very much about him. We aren't even sure what kind of turtle he is. We would love to know though. If anyone has any idea, please let me know!


Southerner 7:13 AM  

We had a turtle growing up. My brother started working at a catfish restaurant when he was 16 and the turtle was in one of the boxes of catfish. He brought it home and put it in our fish aquarium and the turtle lived for years. I do know that turtles will grow to the size of the aquarium. We left ours in a regular fish tank so he stayed small. I have heard from others that put them in the huge aquariums that they grow in proportion to their home. Remember to wash hands after handling because you can get salmanella from their shell. We did not do anything special for the turtle other than feed him.

Emme 11:56 AM  

That looks like a larger version of my little Sinclair that my grandfather rescued from a hospital parking lot. If they are the same type of turtle you have a snapping turtle. Little Sinclair is still half dollar size. Since the life saving rescue job took place during the time when he was supposed to be picking a place to bed down for the winter he's living in a large dog dish by my gecko's heat lamp until spring thaw.

Lora 2:57 PM  

Sorry I can't help with information, but he sure is a cute little guy!

Your Frugal Friend, Niki 3:06 PM  

Not sure. Around Jersey we mostly had Eastern box turtles and painted turtles as pets. We'd find them lost in parking lots or on roadsides and take em home. I loved going to the library and learning more about our insta-pets.


Becoming Me 9:02 PM  

That's really a cute story and turtle

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