the loves i am leaving behind and why not to get a turtle

this post is for my critters. and for you, so that you can get to know an intimate part of my life! i am the luckiest person in the world that i have a mother who is not only willing, but eager to help watch over my little darlings while i am in london! [and my plants, the woman is a saint!] what can i say?
we’re both huge animal-loving freaks. so, here it goes. . .

meet, the boys.

red-eared sliders, turtles, my loves, pets

actually, they are probably female. i have just always referred to them as boys and even gave them masculine names:

samwise william
&
nostradamus augustus

red-eared sliders, sliders, turtles, nostradamus and samwise william

{they both have extremely unique personalities – samwise (above) is definitely the more friendly of the two! also, check out nos’ hitler stache! (below) they both swim towards me when i walk through the room}

i know that they are heart-melting and gorgeous and playful and seemingly ideal, but be warned. i purchased these guys when they were the size of quarters from a smoke shop [next to the bongs, jeez oh pete- i should have known] in florida. as it turns out, red-eared sliders are nonnative to the united states and due to a colorful history involving their invasive natures into our lakes and ponds & salmonella-related deaths [usually children], they are illegal to sell/possess/release into the wild. this confuses me. i already have them [the laws vary by state but mainly apply to turtles that are less than four inches, which mine are not] but i am essentially being told that i can’t release them nor can i keep them. what? i would like to hear what i am “supposed” to do that doesn’t involve killing them – i swear, these people don’t think these things through.
anyway, i have never had a desire to release them. although they have the lifespan of vampires and grow to be the size of trash can lids [am i exaggerating? umm, probably not] i am not the type of person that views pets as playthings or fashion accessories. i have learned, after caring for samwise and nos for five years, that they require a lot of work, a large semi-aquatic [expensive] habitat, and they will likely still be around well after i begin to have children.
unfortunately, not everyone takes on that kind of responsibility and the sad story continues. . . parents buy their children cute, little turtles and when their kids are [obviously] incapable of caring for them properly, or get sick from them, they are either killed or released into the lakes and cause a massive disrupt to the ecosystem.

{remember seeing these little habitats with the palm trees? red eared sliders were once known as the dime-store turtle and sold like crazy in the 60's and 70's - click photo for original source}

{remember seeing these little habitats with the palm trees? red eared sliders were once known as the dime-store turtle and sold like crazy in the 60’s and 70’s – click photo for original source}

i will admit, i did not do my research before getting my own sliders, but nothing infuriates me more than people’s disregard for animal-life and the exploitation of them for profit. the little plastic habitat above is practically uninhabitable- even for a baby this small. the best i can do, after realizing the error of my youthful ways, is give my animals the best possible care until the day they die and inform others of my mistake- in order to prevent this from happening again. if you are, however, willing and capable of helping a turtle that has already gone through the nightmare of pet stores, cramped living spaces, and being abandoned, there are options!

turtle adoption exists and there are sites and locations popping up all over the u.s. – just make sure to research these facilities and get references. remember, never pay for turtles. receiving some sort of payment only makes the cycle continue. here is an example of one of these adoption sites. i can’t give them my stamp of approval because i have never worked with them nor spoken to any references, but their site is reassuring and looks legit. here is another link to show you the magnitude of the problem —> turtle adoption forums.

alright, i hope i haven’t sounded preachy! this was not where i wanted to go with this post but it is so important for me to spread the word and keep you informed!
we shall now continue with “the loves i’m leaving behind
[and it’s not just turtles!]

followers,
meet,
chupacabra!

tarantula, chupacabra, love, my pet

{chupacabra was given to me by one of my closest friends, who now lives in memphis}

 

 

chupacabra, tarantula

{she is a chilean rose-hair tarantula and is my most beautiful possession}

 

 

 

chupacabra, tarantula

{rose hairs are both nonvenomous and, like many eight-legged creatures, are deeply misunderstood. i have had chupa for six years and am hoping for many more. she is sometimes the tool i use to open my friends’ eyes to how lovely “spiders” really are, and how much good they do for our environment}

 

 

{kristin, the friend who gave me her on my birthday, also gave her the name "chupacabra" - it is a monster of sorts, a mexican urban legend and translates into "goat sucker," my mexican friends especially find her name to be hilarious}

{kristin, the friend who gave me chupa on my birthday, also gave her the name “chupacabra” – it is a monster of sorts, a mexican urban legend, and translates into “goat sucker” – my mexican friends especially find her name to be hilarious}

{this does seem to be kind of montrous. extraterrestrial, no doubt. this is what tarantulas do in order to get larger - it's called molting, and this is the only time in six years, that i have been a witness}

{this does seem to be kind of montrous. extraterrestrial, no doubt. this is what tarantulas do in order to get larger – it’s called molting, and this is the only time in six years that i have been a witness}

 

 

{brand spanking new! look at her gorgeous color!}

{brand spanking new! look at her gorgeous color!}

 

 

i hope you have enjoyed this little gallery of some of the creatures that i find most fascinating – my own pets. i will include a few more photos of my “boys” [probably girls] because they are cute and wonderful.

red eared sliders, turtles

{when they were tiny babies – i had to capture this because they are mirroring themselves in my favorite “superman” basking pose}

{i blinked and they had gotten so much bigger!}

{i blinked and they had gotten so much bigger!}

{nostradamus augustus - the shy turtle with the hitler stache}

{nostradamus augustus – the shy turtle with the hitler stache}

{samwise william - the lively turtle who had a severe vitamin a deficiency in the first year of his life and almost didn't make it}

{samwise william – the lively turtle who had a severe vitamin a deficiency in the first year of his life and almost didn’t make it}

uninformed as it may have been,
i will never regret the decision to bring these guys home with me!

Advertisements

One thought on “the loves i am leaving behind and why not to get a turtle

  1. Pingback: feeding time – a tarantula and her prey | the lady's guide to adventure

leave a reply!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s