Frankie Tortoise Tales Frankie Tortoise Tails sulcata care tortoise sulcata husbandry Frankie Tortoise Tails Frankie Tortoise Tails: September 2016



September 6, 2016

Dress For Dinner

With Frankie Tortoise Tails, I only ever want to tell the truth about sulcata tortoises and give a clear warning to potential buyers and those ooging I-wanna-cute-wittle-big-eye-tortoise-like-'tis-wittle-pet-shop-baby-sulcata-dat-the-clerk-says-will-never-get-bigger-then-da-tank-I-put-it-in impulse buyer. Yeah.

Ya gotta know what you're up against when that cute baby turtle hits 105 pounds.

A friend told me that a storms blew over her fence and within a day her big adult male sulcata pushed through temporary fixes to the fence.  With some incredible good luck and attentive neighbors, the runaway tortoise was spotted and an animal rescue group quickly located Franklin's worried owner.

...storms, fence damage, tortoise rescue isn't the point of the story.  The point is the rescue group weighted big ole Franklin.....wait for it.....a whopping 150 pounds.

I always thought that reports of 150 pound sulcata were unsubstantiated guesses.  After all how many tortoise owners have a large animal scale in their bathroom?

I KNEW I should have underfed Frankie all these years!  Too late now.  I am doomed.

As I continue to creep around in my now six month depression Frankie...the future 150 pound Frankie...continues to keep me on my toes.

He is a force to be dealt with.

Last week he tore up the box turtle's outdoor enclosure who luckily were inside at the time.  It appeared that he just went full-out sulcata ram at the back corner fence area.  The long line of the fence was pulled away from the permanent cemented weather station pole, and area around front tumbled the stacked bricks that held it in place.

Really?  Is Frankie now ramming structures?  Do I need to worry about the shed?

After a little clean up and careful observation I discovered the truth of how that fence came down. Frankie didn't ram the box turtles fence after all.  Nope.  Frankie was enthusiastically loving on his orange bucket right next to the fence and consequentially the fence became collateral hump-damage.

Truth.  Nothing is safe in Frankie's yard.

Like wearing nice clothes or your best shoes around Frankie.  Don't.

I have this dress.  It's a gorgeous dress from my favorite clothing store, Clear Water Creek.  I cannot afford to buy anything at full price from the place so when I find a $150 dress for $20 (did someone accidentally mislabeled this?), I was thrilled.  It's a dress that I will never have occasion to wear: sherbet green eyelet cotton, sleeveless, scoop neck, ankle length, lined,...beautiful!  I've had it since last summer...never worn it.

At home, doing nothing, I wore it.  The dress really made me feel a bit better.  Went outside to see Frankie.  He liked the dress so much that I had to drop the carrot and run back to the house.

The dress required hand washing which means I put it in the washing machine anyway, but I was not going to put it in the drier.  I put it on a hanger and hung it on the fence out of Frankie' reach.

Just after dinner I went outside to bring the dress back inside.

Do you know how far a sulcata tortoise can stretch their neck?  Have you ever seen a sulcata tortoise stand up on tippy-toes?  Between an outstretched neck and tippy-toes the dress was just not high up enough.

I found the dress on the ground.  At first I thought it just fell on the ground and Frankie hadn't noticed it at all.  Then I saw the chew marks.

Go ahead and say it.  I already did.  Frankie had the dress for dinner.

The good news is Frankie couldn't shallow.  He just chewed.

The dress got washed again then hung in the shower to dry.

Really I was never going to wear that dress out in public anyway.  Never going to have an occasion to wear it when jeans and a tailored shirt will suffice just as well.

I am never going to install a clothes line in Frankie's yard. No, that clothes line would need to be high up to keep Frankie's inquiring appetite from eating more clothes.  I'd have to use a ladder.

Do I need to explain what happens to ladders when Frankie is around?