There is a turtle in my bathtub.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Copabanana, Jul 9, 2016.

  1. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    M is driving me back and forth to work through the country back roads. When he picked me up on Thursday he announced we had a new pet. What it was he would not say. When I asked if it was male or female, he said he had not asked.

    He had swerved to avoid hitting a large rock--it was a turtle/tortoise in the middle of the road. He did not want to leave it there as he could see no water nearby and the creature had wandered astray.

    Thus, he is in our bathtub. We do not know what to do. My son yesterday had said he would get turtle food, and did not. I am giving him pieces of tortilla, cabbage, lettuce, tomato and a little bit of banana, which he loves. In our tub we have placed rocks for him to bask and filled the tub maybe 5". He does not seem to be discontent. But I am worried as this is not a solution.

    M thought about bringing him back. We looked in the area and found a canal that most likely was his water source, but we do not know for sure. He has also mentioned bringing him to the yard to see how the 2 dogs do, while supervising. I guess that plan would involve keeping him here, and creating a small pond in the yard, which is possible. We have the same climate/habitat as where he was found, as we are on the outskirts of town. Or I understand people put turtles in large aquariums.

    I knew a woman who had a turtle, a large one many years ago. I could never understand the appeal. Now I do.

    I am fascinated by him. And he seems taken with me. We watch each other. It is amazing to think that this species is older than the dinosaurs. But I am very anxious that the right thing be done for him.

    There is a turtle rescue an hour or so away, who I tried to contact without luck. I do not know if he is a protected species or not. I mentioned the county animal shelter but M does not want this.

    But I do not think I want to follow M's lead: He mentioned in passing giving him to somebody who was looking for a turtle to eat or something like that. And in our community there are ethnic groups that use all manner of creature to make medicine.

    So I am thinking my most responsible options might either be to learn how to take care of him properly or to find a reserve. But we cannot drive distances and so I do not believe that is a likely alternative.

    What are your thoughts? You will help me clarify my own. Thank you.
  2. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    My work friend has two turtles. One is about 50 pounds! They eat lettuce and hibiscus flowers. She also said that in order to relieve themselves, they have to be in water....... There is some info on the web. Of concern is this warning "The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says: Do not have a turtle in any household that includes children under five, the elderly, or people who have lowered natural resistance to disease due to pregnancy, cancer, chemotherapy, organ transplants, diabetes, liver problems or other diseases."
    That being written, wash your hands well!
    They are fascinating aren't they?
    Maybe this is a sign to slow down.......;)
    Good luck with Mr./Mrs Tortoise? Turtle?
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  3. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    New Leaf. Thank you.

    I guess I am elderly and my son has liver disease. I did tell him to wash his hands every time he goes near the turtle or the tub, because I had read about salmonella.

    Your friend at work--where does she keep her turtles? Outside, inside? In a pond or tank? We do not have hibiscus here, as far as I know. M says they are omnivores and eat vegetation as well as worms. If I had shrimp I would give it to him cut up, but cannot find the bag I thought was still left.

    This guy is a little guy compared to your friend's turtles. I would guess he is no more than 4 lbs. He is about 6" across, but I still cannot span his back with my hand and fingers as can my son.

    New Leaf. What would you do if you were me? Give him to your friend, is what I wish I could do.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2016
  4. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Ugh, the "elderly" word........age is just a number. Anyway. The turtles are kept outside but in the cooler winter months, in the house with a little heater on (yes it is too cool for them even in Hawaii, I guess?)
    If I were you, I would give him to my friend. Too much maintenance. I have so much on my plate taking care of another animal just would not do. I have dogs and they have a job to warn us that strangers are near. I have cats who catch vermin and chickens who lay eggs. My animals work for their
    My kids had a jackson chameleon once and that was a lot of work catching crickets and bugs for him to eat. It was cool for awhile, but the novelty ended as soon as the kids realized what a chore it was.
    I would probably call the Humane Society, or even try the Turtle Society. But that is me.
    If you have bonded with this turtle, it is not impossible to keep him in your yard. Then there is that kismet factor of who the heck swerves to avoid a rock and it is a turtle? Hmmmmm. I guess an understanding of what kind of turtle it is, how big it will get and just what care it needs, then a pros and cons list will help you decide.
    Turtles, they are so cool. This is a tough one.....
  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I was talking about your friend, New Leaf. I am unsure what it might cost to ship him to Hawaii, but I have to find a better option.
    You know this is really it, where I am caught up. The questioning of whether or not this turtle is in my destiny, and why.

    I was telling M about the dozens of turtles I had as a child, all of them dying quickly from mine and my sister's too ferocious love. They were the dime store turtles, from Woolworth's, some with painted shells. So many funerals in the backyard, with turtle bodies in matchboxes, as we paid our last respects. I think this is rightfully outlawed at this point. Unfortunately there were too many baby chicks who at Easter-time suffered the same fate. How sad now when I think about it and irresponsible of the adults around me.

    The only thing I want to do is to do the right thing.
  6. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Is there a wildlife rescue near you? Hubby caught a woodpecker with a broken wing in our backyard. and we have a wildlife rehab center nearby, so we took the bird there. Maybe try the turtle place again?
  7. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Copa, M saved this turtle by not running it over and bringing it home. But, maybe the destiny part is in letting it go to its habitat. Turtles are wild. That is what I am reading about them. Exotic pets. It may be exotic for a human to keep a turtle, but I imagine, not so exotic for the turtle...........
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Thank you KTMom. I just checked, and there is a Raptor rescue only, but there is a wildlife refuge, but I think it is for birds. In my county there is a lot of protected marshland because migrating birds use these wetlands. I will make a call to them and see if they have guidance for me.

    Where the wetlands are, I can get to, but where M found the turtle is a drier habitat but I cannot get myself all worked up over turtle habitats because if they can offer the turtle anything, it is will be better than my bathtub.
  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Turtles and tortoises cross the back roads here all of the time. I worried at first, but found that when I would come back that way a little while later they would be gone, not smushed. It's pretty country-ish here, so I doubt that anyone would pick one up and take it home. They're ok, they know what they're doing.

    You might contact the Humane Society for a recommendation. Or just bring it back to where it was - it was fine there and will probably die in your bathtub.
  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This is what M said. To bring it back to where he found it more or less. I do not want him to die in my bathtub.

    I worried that where we would bring him back, he would not be able to find his family or his community. Because we could not find the exact spot where M found him as there is not a landmark there. Does it matter? Do turtles have families that the bond with? Will he make it?

    I know how ignorant and silly I sound. I cannot help it.
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    It will be close enough - it's the ecosystem that they need. Turtles & Tortoises are solitary animals.
  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Witzend. That makes a lot of sense. M bought turtle food, for now.

    Thank you.
  13. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Hey there. How sweet of M to rescue the little guy...but Witzend is right. It's probably a box turtle and they often live in dry areas. There's no need to keep him in water. In fact, he'll probably be happier out of the water and on land. In Missouri, we have them all the time crossing roads. I went to a comedy show once where a comedian went on and on about dead turtles in the roads and how weird it was. I'd have M just put him back where he got him...maybe on the side of the road he was heading toward.

    And they LOVE strawberries.
  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    No strawberries in the house, but did he scarf down banana.

    I spoke to M and we are in agreement. He will go back to a canal nearby where he found him. It is strange. I made a rock perch in the tub for him to bask. He is preferring to be immersed in the water.

    We will put him back near the country road where he was crossing. On the canal side. He can choose. It makes sense he return to his habitat. I will miss him. Never thought I could get attached to a reptile. I really do care if he makes it. He seems to have gotten used to me, too.

    Thanks Lil. How are you?
  15. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Doing pretty good. Went and picked blackberries today on our property. Took some friends from church and had a hot and sweaty day. Came home and napped. Tomorrow will be busy though. Jabber's working so all the chores are on me including lawn.

    Best of all, son loves his new job!
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  16. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    we have several turtles that we inherited from our son, for the time being. different kinds of turtles have different needs - how about checking with a localvet, by phone, for advice on how to care for yours?

    our box turtle is a dry land animal, altho he has a pool within his large habitat to meet his water needs. he eats cottage cheese.

    the painted turtles are in a large tank with water & docks they can climb up onto when they want to get out of the water. if you have an aquatic turtle, it needs to have it's water cleaned from time to time, or have a filter. our painteds eat a diet of commercially prepared food & an occasional cricket .. .. ..

    like any other pet, turtles are a commitment. you need to be careful about keeping them for just awhile, I don't think they do well being domesticated & then released back to the wild
  17. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Not meaning to be a downer here but you need to take it back to where he found it and set it free. It's a wild animal and deserves to live its life in its natural habitat and not held captive in some aquarium for the amusement of the humans. And unless you really know how to care for it and know what you're doing, it probably won't live long as a "pet" anyway. Please release it.
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  18. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    It's done. M and the turtle left early the morning, to return the turtle slightly away from the road.

    M feels he will not survive. As soon as he put it down two big dogs appeared. M retreated as it was their territory and the turtle retreated into the water (a creek/canal).

    I told M: he will hide in the water until he feels safe. This is the habitat he has lived in his whole life. We cannot take him away from that. He was not bred to be with humans, domesticated. We understood this.

    Thank you all to arrive at the correct decision.

    It is done.
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    Last edited: Jul 10, 2016
  19. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Aww I'm sorry that M is worried. But that's where animals are supposed to be. That little turtle will be fine.

    What a sweet guy M must be
  20. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I sure hope so. It is funny how our lives crossed. For 3 days he became the center of my life--filling the tub, draining the tub. More perches, and re-arranging them. Deeper then shallower water. Trying various foods to tempt him. Him watching me. Me watching him.

    For him, I must have been just one more environmental contingency maybe a large dog, wearing a flannel nightgown. For me, what was he?

    I am not sure. But I am glad he is back to where he belongs. I have hope for him.