Little turtle is growing up!

in #animals3 months ago

So we have had this little guy for about a year and a half now, got him as a baby from someone who found him on the road. Every breeding season and then hatching season turtles move around. Either looking for a mate, or when hatched the babies head off looking for a life. A majority don't survive but this little guy found his way to us and we may one day release him when he's big enough.

We don't actually have a name for this one we just call him turtle but we really like him and hes super cute. When he was young he was jet black with these gorgeous orange/red markings around the outside of his shell. As he aged it has slowly faded to a black/dark brown color.
Turtle is an eastern long-neck turtle, found in streams, dams, rivers and pretty much any other body of water these guys eat mostly insects for the start of their life before moving onto things like fish, yabbys, crabs and plants.

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Turtle is approximately 2 years old and will live to be anywhere from 30-50. possibly longer if he has optimal conditions and is well cared for. If we release him it won't be for at least a couple more years when his size prevents him being eaten by most predators.

If they feel threatened they have the ability to squirt a foul smelling goo from their armpits, it has been recorded launching as far as 3 ft. It truly does smell terrible and if you ever happen to come across one in the wild these turtles stink as a general rule. I can't tell you the amount of times we have seen a turtle hit or laying on the road and quickly jumped out and grabbed them, popped them in the back and then 2 minutes later started wondering what the fuck that smell was. That's without the defensive squirt.

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This little guy has never done it to us though and because he lives in a filtered tank with freshwater mussels to clean the water he doesn't get algae and growth on his shell, he will probably pick up more of a scent as he ages. He doesn't particularly enjoy being handled but he will allow you to touch him and play with him in the water. If your hand happens to be above the water he assumes it is food and will snap at your fingers trying to eat, if you pick him up he just sort of tries to run away and waggles his little legs like he's swimming.

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We have a few turtles but this one is our baby, one of the very large ones lives with the freshwater crocodile as friends. Broady is a broad shell turtle and is quite rare, he hangs around Fovian the crocodile for protection and in turn eats the algae and insects and other things that attach or hang around Fovian.
He is a little wary of people but for the most part he's pretty tame and if you can catch him you can easily pick him up and hold him with no worries. He doesn't try and escape like the little one but you do have to be careful of the strong claws on their feet for digging and swimming as it can leave a nasty scratch.

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Im trying to show everyone my own animals for now and will introduce some more from my family's rescue soon. I am hoping to start my own, reptile specific rescue when we manage to purchase some land. There are a large number of reptiles that don't adequately get cared for, even the ones that require a licence.

Unfortunately blue tongues and little turtle here don't require a licence so just about anyone can walk into a pet shop and buy one and throw them in a tiny unsuitable tank. Turtles have very specific requirements and even more so when they're young. They need a lot of protein, a specific UV bulb for bone and shell development. Without access to sun or proper UV the shell will stay soft and never harden, as this is their main defense against predators a soft shell makes them incredibly vulnerable and if bone deformity occurs it also is incredibly painful.

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My partner and I have recently started a new business and alongside reptile exhibitions and demonstrations we will be promoting proper care and husbandry. Reptiles can be great as they can be left for long periods without attention for the most part but getting their basic care downpat can be difficult and every one has its own specific needs and requirements. Remember most of these animals don't live in an environment anything like what they would in nature and we need to mimic it as best as possible. Even having an incorrect humidity level can cause issues. Respiratory infections if too high and dehydration and skin issues if too low, with each different animal having a different optimal level.

That's enough blabbing for now, enjoy tortle :D

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