Frankie Tortoise Tales Frankie Tortoise Tails sulcata care tortoise sulcata husbandry Frankie Tortoise Tails Frankie Tortoise Tails: September 2005



September 21, 2005

Permanent Fence

We are all very excited! Today Frankie gets a permanent fence started in his yard. We bought this house with this very large lot - approximately 85 square foot in just the back yard. I've waited almost two years (as Frankie got bigger and bigger) and saved my nickels and dimes. I had a few estimates but I had not saved enough. I got a break a couple of weeks ago when a good neighbor of mine decided to do contract work rather than work in retail. He gave me a price I could afford and today is the first day of work. By Sunday, there should be a complete fence. I shall document the progress and report back.

September 19, 2005

Friends find a sulcata

Over the weekend, a friend called and asked if I would come over and ID a turtle that just walked into her yard - and she lives out in the country - and the turtle was very large! When we arrived we saw that indeed there was a very lovely adult male sulcata. He has obviously been kept in captivity for some time. He is extremely sweet: does not mind being touched at all and likes to be pet. He has been well fed. His shell shows sign of good nutrition.

I have advised my friend to do all the usual things to try to find the owner if in fact he ran away (put out posters, contact vets & police, add him to the lost Alabama pet data base ). I have some suspicious he was abandoned -- if so, the owner's didn't know what a wonderful turtle they let go. Hopefully this is not so. When I went out to see him, he seemed so sad! like he missed his home. It made me want to run home and hug my sulcata.

September 8, 2005

Have a ball

Frankie got a big ball today. Hasn't yet figured out what it is except it is a big blue blob in his enclosure.

September 7, 2005

Eyes and Slides

Frankie continues to play on his slide - that is about ten days worth of amusement. I would say that he missed the slide when I removed it for the hurricane. He was happy to see it again after the weather calmed down. I am still looking to get him a ball to play with.

Big Turtle has an eye infection - her left. Her right eye is clean. Usually if one is infected so is the other; at least this is true for Big Turtle. Odd. I've been putting Terramycin on her eye (which I got from Bean Farm) and have kept her hydrated. I've also given her some vitamin A in a beta carotene form pill. I don't want to resort to Baytril.

I picked up a set of Specula (An instrument designed to hold a reptile's mouth open for medical inspection and force feeding) from Bean Farm. I've been forcing enough turtle mouths open that I figure I deserve some help. Big Turtle is particularly difficult as she will pull in and refuse to come out, period. She also turns her head, when I manage to get it, so that I am not holding her properly just below the mandible.

I did not post about our surviving Hurricane Katrina - luckily we missed her by a few miles and she did her major damage in Birmingham to the west of the city and we are in the east. Still, we were without any electricity for days. We had a generator that ran the reptile room air conditioner but no lights. Our phones all went dead after four days, trees got trimmed in the back yard, but we have a roof over our head which is more than many people can say.

We reached out to see if we could help anyone with turtles or Phelsuma, but had no takers. Greg put us on the list to take in displaced zoo keepers; so far no calls.