Box turtle hatchling - love at first sight!

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Mikey

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Let me first start by saying that all of you probably are the reason my little guy is alive today. Here is the story:

About two months ago my boyfriend and I were having dinner with his family at a restaurant. When we were leaving, I saw him bent down on the sidewalk, picking up something from under a rocking chair, which at first I thought was a cockroach. To my relief, I realized it was a tiny turtle, smaller than a quarter. I yelled out "can we keep him?" Right away, as if I were 5 years old again. Since we live in Florida, we decided the responsible thing to do would be to move him somewhere safer (we were surrounded by highway, hotels, state roads and restaurants). The only problem was, where would be the right place to release this tiny creature? We decided to drive by a petstore to figure out what kind of turtle (or tortoise) he was. They didn't know! What we did know was that turtles like warmth, and that it was going to drop down to 25 degrees that night. And we were in love with the baby we had just "saved". So we got him a terrarium, heat lamps, uv lights, water and (yuiks) lots of yummy lettuce. Just for the night... Right! We took him back to my place and researched all night. We learned his survival rate. We decided to keep him. We loved him already. We then found out he was a box turtle. We think he's either eastern or golf coast, his markings aren't real distinct.

We named him Michelangelo (mikey). we gave him coconut coir and moss, hide boxes, a humidifier and plants. I inow am also the proud owner of about 100 worms. I learned what "gut loading" means. We keep him warm, full and moist and dream of next year when we can build him an outside pen! He has survived this far, and we feel out of the danger zone.

So THANK YOU! To everyone here who has ensured his survival, taught me to feed him while he soaks, and that it is ok for him to bury himself all day. You have made a great difference...

I'm still scared something will happen to him.. he is just so tiny! Any extra advise would be appreciated!

Thanks again.

Camilla and Mikey.
 

Angi

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Wecome. I am also new at caring for box turtle hatchlings. It is fun, but a little scary.
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Camilla:

Welcome to the Tortoise Forum!!

How lucky was that? I doubt I would have seen the little guy.

One thing to always remember with box turtle babies...they are so tiny that they dehydrate easily. So a good soaking every day is in order.
 

Jacqui

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Welcome! Your guy has good eyes to have noticed the little one. How lucky was that. I also understand your love at first sight. They are so hard to not fall for. Glad you are here and glad he is doing well for you.
 

Mikey

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Thank you everyone!

Yvonne- he gets a daily soak and seems to love it, of course this is also when I feed him. We also bought a humidifier that is running constantly to make sure he doesn't bake.. thanks for your concern.

And yes, it is very fun and very, very scary to have him. He's just so tiny..
 

terryo

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The odds of finding a box turtle hatchling are ....I can't even guess. So...it was fate, and I think you'll do just fine. Can you post a picture?
 

Mikey

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IMAG0014.jpg IMAG0012.jpg I finally figured out how to post pics!

Here he is, I took these today! He has doubled his size since we found him! And thank you bigred, we certainly are trying to do right by him :D
 
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Jacqui

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Yippy, you figured out the pictures! You know, it never fails to amaze me how tiny these guys begin life.
 

Zamric

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WOW! that is much tinnier than I was expecting! I was thinking "Leopard Hatchling" Tiny... I guess smaller torts have smaller hatchlings... go figure! :p
 

Mikey

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I did not even think they came that small in ANY species.. goes to show my ignorance before Mikey came along and forced me to take a turtle/tortoise crash course XD
 
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