in Peace, Berry, Rest in Peace
often, an animal comes into American Tortoise Rescue that touches us in a way that is so different, so life changing, that
we are doubly blessed to have had the experience. That would be Berry, our tiny, deformed, spunky box turtle.
Berry came to us just under a year ago from California Turtle and Tortoise Club when it was decided that she needed
hospice care, and we could best provide it.
little creature had previously lived for years in a tank by herself with no sun and an improper diet. She
was misshapen, with long overgrown toenails and a beak that would not close properly. Her lack of care
and attention was a precursor to an early death. But Berry had class and grace, and had no interest in
being ready for hospice. We had her nails trimmed and her beak aligned and she was beautiful again!
She joined the other turtles in our hospital who had suffered
similar abuse: Spinner, a paralyzed turtle who went in circles so she needs help eating; Sushi who lost
her feet to mites when an owner didn’t notice; and Potato Chip, a five year old box turtle who is incredibly small and
deformed – the size of a 50 cent piece. Berry’s days were filled with sunshine, soaks, buddies
and good food. Boy, she loved her worms and chased them with exuberance.
She recently underwent surgery on her leg with her same spunky demeanor and
made an amazing recovery. We bathed her twice a day and she hungrily ate worms and small bites of bananas.
Nurse YoYo, our cat, babysat her when she was recovering making sure I took care of her properly. He
was her devoted caretaker. Until today.
Sometime during the night, she passed over the rainbow bridge. We don’t know
why, but my guess is she was not able to metabolize the food that she was getting as she was the same size with little scrawny
legs as a year ago at the time of her death.
Berry, you brought joy and happiness to Marshall and me throughout the short time
we were graced by your courage in spite of adversity. You will be missed, and I cry again now as I write
this tribute to one of the bravest little turtles that I ever met. We will see each other again when we
too pass over the rainbow bridge, and you will still be the beautiful creature we came to know. Thank you
for being in our lives. Love, Susan and Marshall
You can make a tax deductible donation (TAX I.D. # 93-1219374) to the Berry Veterinary Fund in her
memory by sending a check to Berry’s Fund, American Tortoise Rescue, 30745 PCH, #243, Malibu CA 90265. All
monies will go to rescue turtle and tortoise healthcare and vet care in Berry’s honor. Bless you
and thank you.
World Turtle Day 2014
World Turtle Day is coming May 23rd - this is our 14th year. You can follow the action on Facebook
at https://www.facebook.com/WorldTurtleDay and read about it below. If you have ideas for fundraisers or cool photos, please email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will also be launching a WorldTurtleDay.org website soon. We look forward to celebrating this special day with you!
Love, Susan and Marshall
Tortoise Rescue (ATR) (www.tortoise.com), a nonprofit organization established in 1990 for the protection of all species of tortoise and turtle, is sponsoring its
14th annual World Turtle Day™ on
May 23rd. The day was created as an observance to help people celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises
and their disappearing habitats around the world. Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson,
founders of ATR, advocate humane treatment of all animals, including reptiles. Since 1990,
ATR has placed about 3,000 tortoises and turtles in caring homes. ATR assists law enforcement when undersize
or endangered turtles are confiscated and provides helpful information and referrals to persons with sick, neglected or abandoned
“We launched World Turtle Day to increase respect and knowledge for the
world’s oldest creatures,” said Tellem. “These gentle animals have been around for 200 million years, yet
they are rapidly disappearing as a result of smuggling, the exotic food industry, habitat destruction, global warming and
the cruel pet trade,” says Tellem. “We are seeing smaller turtles coming into the rescue meaning that older adults
are disappearing from the wild thanks to the pet trade, and the breeding stock is drastically reduced. It
is a very sad time for turtles and tortoises of the world.” (See slide show here http://www.slideshare.net/tellem/where-have-all-the-turtles-gone.)
Tellem added, “We are thrilled to learn that organizations throughout the world
now are observing World Turtle Day, including those in Pakistan, Borneo, India, Australia, the UK and many other countries.”
that biologists and other experts predict the disappearance of turtles and tortoises within the next 50 years.
She recommends that adults and children do a few small things that can help to save turtles and tortoises for the next
Never buy a turtle or tortoise
from a pet shop as it increases demand from the wild.
· Never remove turtles or tortoises from the wild unless they are sick or injured.
If a tortoise is crossing a busy
street, pick it up and send it in the same direction it was going – if you try to make it go back, it will turn right
Write letters to legislators asking
them to keep sensitive habitat preserved or closed to off road vehicles, and to prevent off shore drilling that can lead to
endangered sea turtle deaths.
Report cruelty or illegal sales
of turtles and tortoises to your local animal control shelter.
· Report the sale of any turtle or tortoise of any kind less than four inches.
This is illegal to buy and sell them throughout the U.S.
“Our ultimate goal is to stop
the illegal trade in turtles and tortoises around the world. Our first priority here in the U.S. is to
stop pet stores and reptile shows from selling hatchling tortoises and turtles without proper information for the buyer,”
says Thompson. “For example, many people buy sulcata tortoises as an impulse buy because they are
so adorable. The breeders and pet stores frequently do not tell the buyer that this tortoise can grow to
100 pounds or more and needs constant heat throughout the year since they do not hibernate.”
“We also need to educate people who are unfamiliar with their proper care about the real risk of contracting salmonella
from water turtles. Schools and county fairs are no place for turtles. Wash your hands thoroughly every
time you touch a turtle or its water, and do not bring turtles into homes where children are under the age of 12.”
For answers to questions and other information visit American Tortoise Rescue online at www.tortoise.com or send e-mail to email@example.com; on Twitter @tortoiserescue; “Like” American Tortoise Rescue at www.Facebook.com/AmericanTortoiseRescue; and join World Turtle Day on www.Facebook.com/WorldTurtleDay.
Suggested Tweet: #DidYouKnow World Turtle Day is May
23rd? @TortoiseRescue #turtle #tortoise
|Evil Knievel - Resident Troublemaker
American Tortoise Rescue
|Welcome to American Tortoise Rescue from Popcorn the Sulcata
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