The first turtle to move into our new turtle rehabilitation facility was Tripod--so named because she now has only three legs! Tripod is an adult female Box Turtle that was hit by a car in June, 2007. The accident damaged her left front foot and left rear leg. The foot survived with only some missing claws but the left rear leg had to be amputated by the veterinarian because it was damaged beyond repair.
Below is a photo of Tripod just after the accident--she was in very sad shape.
She was also gravid (pregnant) at the time of her accident and would not have been able to excavate a nest with only one rear leg. Nest digging is required before a turtle will lay her eggs so the veterinarian gave her a shot which made her lay them in his office. Her eggs were incubated and one hatched in the late summer and is doing well. The other eggs were not fertile and did not hatch. Box turtle hatchlings are very small and volunerable to predators until their shell hardens and their hinge forms allowing them to close their shell when they are several years old. This tiny hatchling will be given a headstart by living in a special outdoor pen at Earthshine for a few years until it reaches a size where it can then be released into the wild and live out its long life in the road-free safety of the mountain.
Tripod is doing well now but she will never be able to be released due to her missing leg and because the area in which she was found was near a busy highway. You may say "why not move her to a remote area?" Yes, it may sound good at first but years of research has shown that when adult box turtles are moved into new territories their survival rate is low. This is why Tripod will live out her life with us in the Earthshine R and R facility.
Tripod has been doing very well over the last year and a half. She is the heaviest of all of the Earthshine turtles, eats very well and gets around great. She has had a couple of mild skin infections on her stump but topical antibiotics cleared them right up. She has moved into her winter den and we look forward to seeing her in the spring.
April 09, 2008
Tripod is out of Hibernation!! Check out the video below of her first look at the world after her long five months to the day nap. Despite not eating for 5 months she has only lost 10 grams of body weight!
November 09, 2007
Tripod has been hiding under a thick bush for the last few days to escape the cold weather we have been having. Below is all that can be seen of her under the bush so it is possible that she may have found the place she will spend the winter.
Tripod contracted a mild infection of her left front foot that was abraded on a rock in the small pond in her enclosure. She visited the vet again and is now on a course of antibiotics and is doing just fine.
Check out the video below of Tripod getting an injection of antibiotics. Thank you to those of you who assisted me with Tripod's treatment.
The old pond that caused her to re-injure her foot has been replaced with a more accessible and larger pond so that she will have an easier time when visiting it for drinking and for her daily soak.
Marney cooked up some grand scrambled eggs and turkey for me one morning so I shared them with tripod--