my pet turtle - part 4 / by Evan Perry

Photo by Jessica Sinatra

Photo by Jessica Sinatra

Greetings children of the web!

Having a veterinary tech living with me has expanded the way I see and enjoy Sandy the turtle. Now, we have a variety of treats we like to give her and she has even taken to eating right from the hand (If we're careful!). She quite enjoys a small bit of strawberry or banana, but will go on the warpath for chicken. When we gave her a piece of chicken, the next time we put a less exciting banana on the platform, she seemed to ignore it for a while, hoping for the meat. We will put the treat on her basking platform and she will sniff it a moment before snapping it up and dragging it into the water. Turtles can only eat in the water. Of course, when we give her a treat, it is always in a very small quantity.

With chicken, we boil the chicken as opposed to other methods, figuring it will be the healthiest way to present it to Sandy. We don't give her fatty parts obviously. I have always been loathe to give her a live fish because of the possible diseases it might introduce into the habitat. I think, playing with the turtle through light training and giving her a small morsel every once in awhile is a good substitution for that missing stimulation. In any event, I must be doing something right, because she's one big and healthy reptile!