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Native turtle found

Discussion in 'Lost and Found' started by russian/sulcata/tortoise, Jun 18, 2019.

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  1. russian/sulcata/tortoise

    russian/sulcata/tortoise Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    My father found a native western pond turtle in our yard, the turtle looks like a young male that is very malnourished. I’ve never encountered the only native species here in our yard, we live on top of a hill with the closest body of water being a man made pond s good 2 miles away.
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  2. LaLaP

    LaLaP Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Wow! What a cool find. What's your plan? Will you release him after a good meal and a soak? Will you relocate him closer to water? Will you care for him for awhile?
  3. russian/sulcata/tortoise

    russian/sulcata/tortoise Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Where I live it’s hard to find this species of turtle, but I do know that where some reside(at the end of a three mile hike). I’m going to keep him for a week or two because he is light as a feather than bring him there. But for now I’m gonna dig for worms and keep him away from contaminating my torts.
    TammyJ, Cowboy_Ken and LaLaP like this.
  4. russian/sulcata/tortoise

    russian/sulcata/tortoise Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    My though is he might have been dropped by a bird. I have no idea how long he has been away from water but it looks like quite a while. He smells absolutely terrible by the way.
    LaLaP likes this.
  5. russian/sulcata/tortoise

    russian/sulcata/tortoise Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Could somewhat answer a question I have? So I found parasitic worms in its poop. Could these harm me? How can I help this turtle out?
  6. Cowboy_Ken

    Cowboy_Ken Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Don’t eat his poop and y’all should be fine. I’d give him stress free soaking of it’s normal temperature. And good job Newt.
    sissyofone likes this.
  7. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator 10 Year Member!

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    The western pond turtle is protected. You can not keep one under any circumstances. Illegal to own, as for the worms. They are usually species specific, so they should cause you no harn. I agree do not eat the poop :)
  8. russian/sulcata/tortoise

    russian/sulcata/tortoise Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    In your opinion what should I do, should I release it immediately or try and get him to fatten up.
  9. Cowboy_Ken

    Cowboy_Ken Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Don’t share him and watch him get full and healthy. As soon as he sees you as a source of food it’s time to cut it loose.
  10. russian/sulcata/tortoise

    russian/sulcata/tortoise Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    So immediately release him? I’m still wondering where he came from.
  11. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator 10 Year Member!

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    Call fish and game and ask them. They will probably tell you to release it. (Best guess)
  12. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    I would release him as soon as you possibly can into a pond that has others like him.
  13. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    @russian/sulcata/tortoise

    Hi Nick:

    It's more than likely that someone was fishing or camping or whatever and found him in his native area and brought him home. Pond turtles are notoriously good at escaping. They can scale a 6' redwood fence.

    Go ahead and de-worm him and then try to fatten him up a bit, then go hiking and take him to where you know a population of them exists. Good on you for trying to help this turtle.
  14. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    The Southern Pacific Pond Turtle Actinemys pallida, do wander great distances on land and I often have find them quite far from water. A wild turtle like this will often appear much thinner than what you see with commonly kept aquatic turtles. Many "pet" turtles would not survive well in the wild as they have so much meat on their body they cannot retract as fully into their shells as you see with this pond turtle.

    It is too small to sex from what I see. Actinemys have quite long tails, both male and female. Many will think a female is male because of this. A male will normally develop a flatter shell with much more flaring of the posterior marginals. A males tail become quite long and thick.

    Parasites/worms are a normal part of a turtle's gut flora. In the wild, densities normally stay in check as they wander quite a bit and are not confined where reinfection is a constant build-up. Some worm parasites are thought to actually aid in digestion and food movement through the gut.

    I would immediately release the turtle. Actinemys are know to be one of the most skittish/nervous turtles whose flight reflex is one of their main survival characteistics. Keeping one around people in a confined area can diminish that and is not good for its long-term survival.
  15. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Also - forgot to mention... Actineyms have very well developed scent gland that emits a very strong musk smell when disturbed. Just like the "stinkpot" - musk turtle. So that smell is quite normal for them and another survival mechanism we don't want one to become used to human interaction and lessen the amount they would use that reflex.
  16. plantationtort

    plantationtort New Member

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    there should be a wildlife rescue in your state that will give him the proper care, then they release him, please try finding one
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