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Please help sex our rescue turtle :-)

Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:38 pm
by V1C1OUSFLOWER
Hi All,

Havent posted on here for a while. I have 6 turtles x 1 male YBS, x 1 female M.Map, x 1 male African mud, x 1 female African mud and two common musk turtles that are far too small to sex yet. I have 3 tanks and two cats and two dogs so needless to say was not looking to add any more to the brood.

My partner and I visited Mill Race Garden Centre in Colchester on Friday, Swallows Aquatics is also based here. I usually cant fault them for their fish / reptile / animal care, I even got my two African Mud turtles from them almost 3 years ago, however I was absolutely disguested by what I saw this time. They had a large YBS turtle in a 3 foot tank with large rocks on the bottom and about 1 1/2 inches of water so the turtle was clearly in distress hitting against the glass and could barely walk around the tank. There was also no heat lamp and the poor turtles shell looked like it hadnt seen the sun in quite some time.

Needless to say I complained to the staff there who were two young guys clearly with no knowledge. They told me the woman that looks after them was off and that she was an expert at keeping turtles (clearly not as a quick click on google will tell you how much this species love to swim and bask) and that they would take my comments on board. Anyway long story short they clearly didnt care nor was I assured that conditions would change. Apparently this was a turtle for rehoming and they charge people to take them and re-sell them so I apreciate the level of neglect to the turtle primarily lies with the previous owner, there is no excuse for the shop not providing the basic level of care for this turtle until it was rehomed.

In the end I purchased the turtle for £5 as I couldnt leave it in such appauling conditions. Luckily I had a spare tank in the shed. At first the turtle struggled to swim but there is no stopping it now and it's sunbathing non stop which is a great sign. I aim to keep it for a couple of months and get it nice and healthy again and try and find it a nice home.

From looking at it and comparing it to my YBS male it looks like a female to me however I'd like a second opinion from someone with more knowledge than me. It has short nails but I dont know whether this is because it is female of because of the poor conditions it has been kept in previously. I've attached some photos so I hope this helps.

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Next to my male YBS Ernie

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Thanks in advance for the help :-)

Re: Please help sex our rescue turtle :-)

Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:25 pm
by UpAroundTheBend
Not sure about the sexing, im not as experienced as most on here.

Just wanted to say good on you for giving it a better life!

Re: Please help sex our rescue turtle :-)

Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:41 pm
by V1C1OUSFLOWER
Thanks for your reply. I just got so angry and upset seeing that turtle in such disgusting conditions. I know it sounds weird but I could just tell it was a character and other than the discoloured shell from lack of sun, it didnt look like the shell was soft etc and luckily it's not. I knew that it deserved a chance.

I rang the RSPCA to report them when I got home and apparently as I brought the turtle they cant do anything this time. I asked them "if I hadnt brought it would you have gone out this weekend or even next week?" and they said it definately wouldnt have been this weekend so I am glad I took it. Seeing how happy the turtle seems to be in just two days swimming around, sunbathing and her scutes are starting to shed I am just so glad I followed my heart.

I sent an email to the pet shop as well and attached pictures to show the condition it was in when I got it and said that if I return there and witness anything like that again I will phone the authorities on the spot as it's completely unexceptable. The thing that worries me the most is someone could've gone in there and thought that was the way to keep it and brought it and continued the neglect.

Re: Please help sex our rescue turtle :-)

Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:06 pm
by Zekee
Have you seen the caresheets Rom has written?

Possibly print these of and drop them in to the store.

Re: Please help sex our rescue turtle :-)

Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:30 pm
by Romski
Print these off back to back and give the shop a few copies.

http://www.terrapin-info.co.uk/pdf/romcare1.pdf
http://www.terrapin-info.co.uk/pdf/romcare2.pdf

Well done on the rescue, but I think she could be in trouble. Keep her warm and let her sunbathe as you are doing.

Rom

Re: Please help sex our rescue turtle :-)

Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:43 pm
by Turtle-Arts
I see 2 males, the bigger specimen has shorter nails due to wearing them out... Tail is way too big for a female.

Re: Please help sex our rescue turtle :-)

Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:06 pm
by sdmtate
i have to agree with turtle-arts,i believe it to also be male,claws are short but i think there worn down,tail is huge,must be a male.
well done on the rescue.
i would also say that he needs to be put on a diet,looks to me like he's been fed too high protein and looks heavily overweight

steve

Re: Please help sex our rescue turtle :-)

Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:07 pm
by V1C1OUSFLOWER
Thanks for the feedback :-)

I had a horrible feeling Gerty might be a boy. So sad as definately wont be able to keep him long term. He has a home with us as long as it takes to get him back to his best and to find him a great new home :-(

Re: Please help sex our rescue turtle :-)

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:56 am
by Romski
I can see that the tail is much bigger but the whole lot looks so swollen.

Retrospectively I agree.
Rom

Re: Please help sex our rescue turtle :-)

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:32 am
by V1C1OUSFLOWER
Any other advice on getting this handsome guy back to full health other than keeping him warm, fed, providing him swimming room and letting him bask?

I noticed that the thighs looked a bit podgy I didnt know whether this was because it was over weight or not, what else could have caused this?

I have a horrible feeling he may have been kept as a tortoise at some point and fed some unusual food as when I fed the turtle some calcium turtle sticks it went to the toilet and they were big black solid clumps and look nothing like anything any of my other turtles have ever produced.

It just makes me so mad and upset that the poor thing has not been given the care it deserves. He truly is a character and unlike most of my turtles, happily basks with legs and arms out and dosent dive into the water as soon as he notices you watching lol