Yes, it’s 2016 so it’s been quite some time since this blog has been updated, but since the world of Facebook it seems everything and everyone is on there! In case you are and have not found us there, our link there is https://www.facebook.com/TurtleRescueLongIsland/ and we keep quite active there. We continue to stay busy with many rehabs and rescues and our place has grown. I’m sure since the last blog entry we have added several new enclosures and probably some new permanent residents. Our slider pond is pretty much maxed out with rescues so we won’t be adding any new turtles to that pond any time soon. The last few that were added were local Red eared sliders that were hit by cars and in NY state we are not allowed to release them back to the wild because they are not a native species, so what else can we do with them? DEC says find them a home or euthanize. Since finding them a home is so difficult and euthanizing a turtle that has a good chance of living a good life is not an option for us, they go in our pond. We’ve also had a few Western Painted turtles added to our Koi pond which were sent to us from other rehabbers and shelters. They do well out there and seem to be happy going from their tiny tanks to the 4,000 gallon pond. I guess it’s equivalent to us moving from a studio apartment to a four bedroom house. As of August of 2015 we have however stopped taking in both Red eared sliders and other non-native species. We are no longer handling adoptions on a regular basis but rather concentrating on native species rehab and release. It just got to be too life consuming doing both.
With that being said, there are always the exceptions. For instance, we recently took in a terribly deformed Chinese box turtle that was surrendered to a pet store. There’s no way we could turn our backs on a turtle in need of lots care to get it back to some form of decent health. When a beak looks so bad you wonder how the poor thing is even eating, and the nails are either missing or curled in every other direction you have difficulty cutting them, you know you have to do something to help that turtle. So when a case like that comes up, we will take it and find it a home. We also took in a couple of Sulcata tortoises that were not being given proper care in a museum. They were crammed, being mixed with other species and had poor diets, no soaking areas and improper lighting. We were happy to take them to get them on to better health and into better homes. Same with a couple of Redfoot tortoises, same deal. You just can’t turn your back on such animals in need. As I type this I am waiting for a couple of Russian tortoises that are coming in. When I saw a photo of the disgusting filthy tank with alfalfa pellets littered on part of the bottom I knew I could not say no. These tortoises could not wait for someone else to take them and chance that they would fall into the hands of someone else that may give them care that was just as bad or if possible, worse. I have no idea what condition they will be in, but will do my best to do everything I can to get them back to good health. It’s so sad to see any animal suffer because of human ignorance or carelessness.
Unfortunately there is no shortage of rehabs. Over the winter we always have plenty of native turtles that just weren’t well enough in the fall to be released so we keep them over the winter to let their injuries heal, whether they be severed legs, ear abscesses, fractured shells, respiratory infections, whatever the damage, we take care of them and don’t release them until we are sure they are well enough to go back home. Any box turtle that is brought in to us we make sure we get a location where it was found so we can release it back to the area it came from. Because of their homing instinct they need to be released there. If released anywhere else they will try to get back to where they came from, often ending up being struck by cars trying to get there. Studies have been done that determined this homing instinct so we strictly adhere to these guidelines.
The turtles that I don’t understand getting struck by cars the most are our huge Common Snapping turtles. How in the world can a driver not see them? I don’t believe they don’t see them, I think they just hit them because to them it doesn’t matter, it’s just a turtle. If that were a rock or a small boulder in the road they would go around it so it would not damage their car, but because it’s ‘just a turtle’ that will crush under the pressure of the tire they have no problem running it over. Well, newsflash, that turtle is now dying a slow death, left to bleed, suffering and may have been just looking for a great spot to lay her eggs. Shame on those that do this, but thankful for those that find these poor turtles and bring them to us to try to save them. Amazingly, some do survive despite horrible injuries.
Well, I know there have been lots of things going on here since our last entry but way too much to sum up in one blog so join us on our Facebook page and maybe you can browse through the photos or posts to catch up. Hope to see you there! Have a great summer and be sure to celebrate World Turtle Day on May 23rd and do something awesome with your turtle or tortoise! You know the turtles and tortoises here will all get a special treat!
All my best,
Julie @ TRLI