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Turtles, Turtles, Everywhere

So for those of you not on Twitter, Turtle-Bob made a triumphant return last week, all patched up (though with a scar) and was duly released in the garden. (The rehabber informs me that Turtle-Bob is a girl, incidentally. Also, when I arrived to pick up the turtle, I was handed a bottle and drafted to bottle-feed a fawn. Needless to say, I did not resist terribly hard.)


You can see the scar and the lump there--they had to drain the cyst repeatedly, so she'll probably always have some kind of lump, but it no longer looks like she's got another head.

Now, box turtles are nearly invisible when they're in leaf-litter or mulch, so I have no idea where Turtle-Bob got to--she could still be lurking in the garden, she could be in the next county, I have no way of knowing. We commend her to whatever saint watches over small box turtles and hope she lives to a ripe old age, and of course I'll be delighted if I trip over her again in the garden.

This morning, however, as I strolled down the path, I nearly stumbled over ANOTHER box turtle, this one twice the size of Turtle-Bob. He was, for a box turtle, very large, and not terribly impressed by humans. (He looked at me, I looked at him, neither of us retreated.)

It's been very cloudy for the last few days, and I know they navigate by the sun and sometimes wander afield when it's cloudy, so he may have trundled off his territory and into the garden--or this may BE his territory, for all I know, although given that adult boxes have come through before, that could mean that a couple are sharing this particular chunk of their range. I have no idea if they do that. It'd be considered a food-rich environment, I suspect--veggies to raid, worms and slugs to nosh, lots of mushrooms--but this requires an insight into box-turtle behavior I lack.

He most definitely did NOT come in through the chain link though--he wouldn't fit--so he had to come in under one of the two gates with a gap. Or he lives here full-time and I just haven't had a good look at him before because, as previously stated, box turtles can become damn near invisible.

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You could mark him . . .

Glad to hear Turtle-Roberta is well and back! (Is it okay if I call her Turtle-Roberta? I promise I'm not doing it to impose arbitrary human gender conventions on a hapless reptile; I just like the internal rhyme.*)

*Or end rhyme, if you're from Bristol.

(that link is such a fine rabbit hole. :D Thank you for it!)

I have heard that turtles can climb fences, though I have never personally witnessed this.

Adorable. You could tie helium balloons to Turtle Roberta and Turtle Stranger's shells.

You realize, of course, that we are all now expecting a story about invisible turtles.

Bobbi-Jo there has some neglected gardening to catch up on and she would like you to put her down so she can get to it! Those hospital worms are nothing like a fresh one you pick for yourself.

Hurray for Turtle-Bob and Turtle-Stranger! I adore box turtles. They just seem so purposeful as they trundle about their business.

Very glad Turtle-Bob is okay. I hope she likes the garden!

I was reminded of all this yesterday actually, we had a tortoise show up at work...

Edited at 2014-07-22 07:08 pm (UTC)

Good job on getting Turtle-Bob healed. I have two box turtles living in my house, and they're interesting creatures. They behave like tanks, and will not stop for anything once they've decided to go from Here to There. My cats have learned to get out of their way or get walked over.

I have heard it said that hedgehogs are quite similar in their Quest To Be There, only they make a squeaky sound before they start, which can be learned and therefore anticipated when one is trying to break for the road.

YAY Happy Turtly Update! <3

The invisible turtle things reminds me of a story I read once on a turtle study some folks were trying to do. Even with a bunch of interns, they only found a few each season. Then someone got the idea of teaching dogs to scent them out. Suddenly they had a much better study population!

Invisible turtles, next you'll be claiming they are ninjas - No, wait that one's been done already.

Nice to see she has made a full recovery.

Hooray! Good luck back in the wild and many juicy worms, Turtle-Bob!

They stick around. Tenaciously.

My father once relocated one about fifty miles (seriously. He was pissed because it was going through his garden and taking ONE bite out of each red tomato it could get to. But he was incapable of killing any creature just because of that.)

He marked it with some of mom's nail polish because he was curious. also, he relocated it several times, shorter distances. It took it three weeks to come back from the fifty mile trip...

He said it kind of looked smug about it, too. Like, 'there, you can't get rid of me." He propped up the bottom branches of his tomatoes after that.

Re: They stick around. Tenaciously.

Guffaw! That is very funny. If only the cursed squirrels in MY area could be dealt with so easily. Little bastards are destroying my pomegranates...I hate them.

Re: They stick around. Tenaciously.

If you live trap them (we had them IN the attic of our home...) you have to take them at least 15 miles or they will be back. I called the Mo. Dept. of Conservation about it, guy I spoke with went, 'hell, if they are damaging your property you can kill them.... drown them or something..." I cut him off at that, because I will NEVER drown anything. I rescue spiders and etc from the water. He recommended the distance.

We covered the holes, too, and we haven't had to trap since.

If they have both bonded to your garden you could end up with a breeding population and lots of little Bobbins.

Edited at 2014-07-23 09:28 pm (UTC)

Aww! That reminds me of a pet turtle we used to own. It was one of those red-eared sliders that they sell at pet stores. Anyways, we called it Max, but once he grew bigger, it turned out he was a 'she'. The early years we had her, she had the exact same cyst problem on her face. We thought it was a tumor or some bone deformation. We asked a doctor-friend of ours and they said it was an ear infection, and that we had to clean her tank more frequently and change her diet up a bit. It took a while, but her cyst finally went away after someone drained it...it was hideous to look at, but at least it wasn't a tumor.

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