Turtle Rescue of Long Island

February 26, 2009

Winter 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Julie @ 5:26 pm

Sure seems like it’s been a long one. Never a favorite time of year around here with having to haul all of those that can’t winter outside to the inside and hunker down those that can winter outside into their outdoor accomodations. Always a nerve wracking time of year worrying if all outside will be okay during their winter hibernation.

The ponds have all been partially frozen for most of winter except for the hole that the submergible heaters keep in them.  Hard to see the turtles but have caught a glimse of a few over the course of the past few months when weather allowed a brief walk outside and there was no snow blocking the views. Of late there has been a Cooter up baskig on the warmer of the days and by warmer I mean above 40° and sunny. We’ve only had a couple of days in the near 60’s that we were able to bring out some of the Sulcata tortoises that we’ve been over wintering awaiting adoption. They were as thrilled as we were to get them outside for some sun and grazing. Too bad it was so short lived, but with spring only weeks away they’ll have a chance to be outside soon enough for longer days. And before long will be able to be shipped to their new homes in the southern parts of the country. Lucky them!

Of course we’ve taken in the usual Red ear sliders over the winter. One that Steve brought back from the expo at White Plains that he just couln’t stand to leave there. This thing looked like Dizzy Gillespie with an abscess so bad his face looked like two. With lancing and some antibiotics and much time to heal along with good care she is now all healed up. Another that came in with eye problems likely from one of those coiled lamps causing eye swelling. Fine now as well. And what would the winter be without a few hatchling RES, seems we never get through a winter without these. I did manage to find a great home for two of them though so only two left here now.

The Diamondback terrapins that were brought in for rehab are doing great and will be released come spring and weather permitting. Amazing how great they heal up when given a chance. And those little tiny Snapping turtles that were the size of quarters, well they could swallow a quarter now if you let them. Wow did they grow. I guess their first couple of months of poor care caught up with them once they got onto a good diet and had a good environment because they have really gotten very big and only on eating mostly snails, fish, superworms, shrimp, smelts, mussels and only some pellets and krill. I’m amazed at how fast they grew. I’m used to RES and tortoises that grow slowly.

 I was real happy to get word from someone that had dropped off a box turtle in the fall to us. She was not sure of the location that her sister had found the turtle, but this box turtle was in excellent shape and no reason for it to be kept except that we cannot release them unless we know where they came from. I set him up outside to hibernate figuring he would have to be rehomed come spring. Well she finally got out of her sister exactly where the turtle came from and I’m happy that it’s not far from our home and we can release him come spring! Woohoo! Love it when they can go home. One less turtle stuck in captivity.

We got a Diamondback terrapin in last month that was found in the vines around St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC. What the heck the turtle was doing there is beyond me. The person that brought the turtle in said she was told there were two spotted there but she could only find one. Likely someone had either bought them at the fish markets and released them or forgot them or something. Only in NY! One can only begin to guess. I’m still waiting to hear from DEC on what we can do with that one. Would love to be able to release him too.

This is the time of year when we start to get requests for placements of all sorts of tortoises and turtles. Mostly Red ear sliders and  Sulcata tortoises then  Russian tortoises, Cooters and quite a few other species but not as many of those as the above. If you’re looking to adopt, please submit an adoption application along with photos of your enclosure. Please note that applications are not processed if photos are not submitted. Even if you send photos of your yard where you plan to build the enclosure it’s better than sending nothing, your application will at least get seen. Without any it gets filed awaiting photos. You can find the application here: http://www.turtlerescues.org/forms/adoption.htm

I hope everyone is having a safe winter and is looking forward to spring as much as we are!

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