Monday, July 28, 2014

Hatchlings Escape Florida Keys, Make Run For It!

Live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerge from their nest in the Florida Keys!

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

My Cousin - The Egyptian Tortoise

The Egyptian Tortoise (also known as the Kleinmann's Tortoise), is a critically endangered, neck-hiding tortoise with its numbers now dwindling. The Egyptian Tortoise is one hard-core turtle, living in deserts and semi-arid habitats, usually with compact sand and gravel plains, scattered rocks, shallow, dry woodlands, shrubby areas and coastal salt marsh habitats. They are least active when it is very cold or very hot. During the colder months, they are out most during midday. During the warm season, they are active in the morning and evening. The rest of the day is spent under brushes or in rodent burrows. They become sexually mature between 10-20 years old.

The female tortoises are larger than the males; males are more slender and have a longer tail. Their shells have high domes, and range in color from ivory to pale gold to dark brown or dull yellow, which helps regulate the impact of sunlight and its stay in the desert heat. It's shell is an effective camouflage in the desert.

The species is extinct in Egypt, and global extinction is a looming threat unless more actions are taken to protect this species. Habitat loss and illegal pet trade are huge issues facing this species and while their population is still on the decline, the risk of complete extinction is very real if habitat degradation and illegal trade continue at their present rate.

Friday, July 18, 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

Saturday, July 12, 2014

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

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