So Roger and Molly, our box turtles, went on their first vet visit today. We have the best vet ever. He’s a man of remarkable dedication. I’ve seen him cuddle a snake.
It was basically a Well Turtle check-up, but even though we’ve done our research, he had some excellent advice for taking care of our herptilian friends. I learned:
1. That it’s illegal to “trade” in ornate box turtles. Oops! I feel like a criminal! Actually, we didn’t buy these guys. We got them from a rescue, so I think we’re ok.
2. Proper turtle care requires that I buy two thermometers. Thankfully, they’re not for taking the turtles’ temp but to monitor their habitat.
3. Iceburg lettuce has no nutritional value. Actually I knew that from all those 80s movies about Anorexia.
4. Crickets are the equivalent of Cheetos for turtles.
5. To make crickets healthy, I must Gut Load them by placing a slice of apple or potato in their container for the crickets to munch. I should also purchase a product called Reptical. I’m supposed to put the powdery Reptical in a baggie, then place the crickets inside and “shake to coat” before I feed them to Roger and Molly. Yep, you got it. Turtle Shake ‘n Bake!
6. Turtles, like most reptiles, pee when they’re nervous. I’m guessing our vet has experienced much worse. He took it in stride.
Unfortunately, I neglected the most crucial question: Is there such a thing as a Depo shot for a turtle? What exactly do we do to keep our turtles from getting that lovin’ feeling? We’ve already severely restricted the amount of Barry White music played in their earshot. And, of course, we have a strict ban on candle-burning. Having once burned my big toe on a candle flame, I can tell you those waxy traps are far from romantic. But Roger and Molly don’t know that, so no candlelit dinners for them!
We’re settling in to turtle ownership, and Kory plans to build an elaborate habitat for them. I suggested a combination coffee table/turtle enclosure with Plexiglas sides so we can still see them when they burrow. We’ll keep you updated on Project Turtle Palace.