Today, I went to our county fair. They had a game where you could win live turtles, live iguanas, and live hermit crabs. I still find this concept weird that you can win animals that require specialized cages and lighting. It would make more sense to win a puppy or kitten, since most homes are already equipped for them.
In reality, I don’t agree with the practice of the animals as prizes. But that’s another story for another day. The long and the short of it is – I’m a sucker for animals of any kind, and I always think I should adopt everything so I can be certain it’s taken care of. The fact that I walked away with only one turtle and not a whole slew of reptiles shows an extreme level of self restraint on my part.
Anyway – I digress. Meet Jasper – the newest edition to my family:
|The picture’s a bit blurry, but rest assured, Jasper’s face is perfectly clear in real life.|
|That’s Jasper running away from a Dixie cup. He’s insanely fast. I’m starting to think the Tortoise and the Hare was a total lie.|
From what I can tell, Jasper is a red eared slider. I’m not sure of his age, but he’s small enough to easily fit in a Dixie cup. (I didn’t put him in one. I just put him next to one for a size comparison.).
There’s a chance that Jasper isn’t a boy, but I don’t know how to tell the difference, and I figure that Jasper won’t care if I refer to him as a “he” even if he’s a she, as long as I take proper care of him and give him food and lots of clean water to swim around in.
I’ve never had a turtle before. I’ve had iguanas and frogs and toads, but never a turtle. This didn’t occur to me until I got home, and I begun to panic that I would somehow kill him.
Jasper’s currently set up in a ten-gallon tank that has water about half way up and a resting rock thing designed for turtles such as himself to hang out on. He also has a heat lamp and turtle food that I bought at Walmart. Walmart was the only store open that sells turtle food after I got Jasper, but tomorrow, I’ll go to the pet store to see what else the recommend.
My aunt has three turtles, so I asked her how to take care of them. She said that she feeds her turtles minnows sometimes, but I think Jasper might be a bit too small for that right now. Unless minnows are smaller than what I think they are. She also said she feeds them greens (I think she said lettuce).
I also ordered some books on turtles. And I expect I’ll talk to my aunt more about how not to kill Jasper and keep him happy.
The point is – Jasper is very, very cute. He might be the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I know some things about turtles – like that have salmonella and they need a habitat with land and water. But if any experienced turtle owners have tips, feel free to throw them my way.