Sunday, July 20, 2014

Friday, July 18, 2014

Summer Sunnin'

A perfect day in the life of a perfect turtle...

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summer Mutant Ninja Turtle Turtle Movie Alert!

This important Movie Alert is being re-posted from

Dear Parents:
We're asking you to save a turtle's life and perhaps even your child's. In August, your children will be enjoying another edition of the extremely popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. This will include a whole new generation of kids who missed the 2007 animated film. It's fun and great entertainment.

But, we are writing this to ask for your help. Since the first movie was released in 1990, hundreds of thousands of live turtles, mostly water turtles called red eared sliders, were purchased for between $10 and $25 after each ninja movie was released. The result? Many, if not most, were dumped and even deliberately killed or flushed down the toilet. Remember people buying thousands of dogs that ended up in shelters after 101 Dalmatians came me out? Same problem.

Unfortunately, children do not realize that real turtles do not fly, perform stunts or do any of the exciting moves fictional movie turtles do. Parents, trying to please their children, purchased live turtles which ended up languishing in tanks. Or, when the kids realized after a few weeks that these were not ninja turtles, the turtles were dumped illegally into rivers and lakes as well as dumpsters, flushed down toilets or relinquished to shelters and overcrowded rescues. It's estimated that 90 percent died. As an aside, zoos do not take turtles.
Turtles have been around for 200 million years and outlived the dinosaur. Is this the way we want to treat our precious wildlife? Most of these turtles are taken out of the wild and sold to pet stores, breeders and mercados for profit.

Here's the bigger problem. Turtles carry salmonella which can make a child very, very sick and can even kill them. That's why turtles less than four inches were banned from sale in the U.S. in 1974 and still are...tiny turtles easily fit into a child's mouth. Children also tend to touch the water and don't wash their hands. It's an ugly problem. A nine month old baby in Los Angeles got salmonella meningitis from a turtle after its parents touched it and then held the baby. We do not recommend live turtles or tortoises for children under 13 because of salmonella exposure and because the kids lose interest almost immediately.

What can you do to help? Buy Ninja action figures and toys instead of live turtles and save a turtle's life, and perhaps even your child's.

Thank you. (Please spread the word and forward this email.)

Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson, Co-founders 
American Tortoise Rescue

Monday, July 14, 2014

Siebenrock’s Snake-necked Turtle

Before you say "ew," learn about this snakey carnivorous turtle who can shoot water from his nose!

Learn more about the Snake Necked Turtle and all his friends at the Reptile & Amphibian Discovery Zoo. Just click here.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

My Cousin: He's Got Balls! And Loads of Energy!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Monday, July 7, 2014

Friday, July 4, 2014

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Don't "BRAKE" the Turtles!

"BRAKE" for them! It's that time of year where do our egg laying and often need to cross the road, so if you wouldn't mind slowing down a bit...

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Never Tired, But Always Exhausted

Doesn't matter what season it is, I'm exhausted.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Which Came First?

The turtle or the egg?

don't have all the answers, but this little guy sure is cute!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

I Own This Spot

one of my faves to catch some rays...

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Galapagos Turtle

Courtesy of BBC's "Life in Cold Blood" series:

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Hop on Pop

Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

R.I.P "Hole"

(Courtesy of American Tortoise Rescue)
Hole was named after a prominent hole someone cruelty drilled in the front of his shell to tether him years ago.  He arrived at American Tortoise Rescue 20 plus years ago after being caught in the wild near his gulf coast home and shipped to a pet store in Los Angeles.  I received a call from the pet store manager asking me if I would come in and look at one of the turtles who had been pretty much unresponsive all week - not eating or moving. 

From the beginning, it was touch and go, but he made it and became one of the rescue's favorites.  He lived outside year round always showing up for worms and loving his soaks in a plant saucer. His eyes were bright red with some white around the edges telling us that he was old. (Red eyes turn whiter as they age.)  He was always a bright spot in our daily routine and was never a problem.  During the more than 20 years we had Hole, his eyes turned completely white from red.  We guessed his age at around 50 years or more. 

Sadly many of these wild caught turtles and tortoises die from stress or shortly afterwards  en route to pet stores or breeders or even well meaning people who don't know buying turtles and tortoises is a bad thing.

You can make a tax deductible donation in Hole's memory by sending a check to American Tortoise Rescue, 30745 PCH, #243, Malibu CA 90265.  All monies go directly to the housing, feeding and medical care of turtles and tortoises.

(TAX I.D. # 93-1219374)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Caught on Camera

Late night clandestine meeting with my mate seemingly caught on surveillance camera.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Monday, May 26, 2014