August 29, 2011

The Story of Clementine

Last Wednesday I dropped off my daughters at school, went to the grocery store and came home. Thank goodness I was paying attention, because in our driveway, directly in my path was this:
 I pulled the car over, got her out of the road and proceeded to unload groceries. Then I took a picture and sent it to Hubby. My initial thought was to take her down the street where there's a big field and a reservoir. I became distracted and didn't follow through. Thank goodness I didn't take her there.
Hubby emailed me from work and told me to put the turtle in our backyard until he could figure out what to do with her. We didn't want her to get hit by a car or taken in by the neighbor girl who all but abuses her two dogs. Hubby did an Internet search and found a local reptile rescue group. Upon seeing the picture, the woman in charge told him the turtle is not native to our area and, if left to her own defenses, would die in the elements and/or spread diseases to the "wild" turtles. Her speculation was that the turtle was either an escaped or abandoned pet. She and Hubby started corresponding to figure out how the turtle could end up in the hands of the rescue group.
In the meantime, when my daughters came home from school I told them what had happened and let them see the turtle. For whatever reason, they decided to name her Clementine. (Internet research leads us to believe the turtle is female). 
The rescue group wanted Hubby to drop off Clementine on Saturday. He told the woman a) it was kind of a long drive and b) he would have to bring the girls since I would be working. She told him they don't allow kids in the facility. Ummm, ok. So he asked her if there was a volunteer in our area who could pick up Clementine since she's, in my opinion, a dire case, meaning she's not native and can't just be turned loose. The woman informed Hubby they don't "typically" do that so could he still drive nearly an hour on Saturday to drop off the turtle. 
We contemplated keeping Clementine. Our girls really wanted to keep her. Every morning before school they made me go in the backyard to check on her. The other day they watched her eat lettuce and berries. They were delighted when she pooped in the box we used for her feeding. Unfortunately, she requires both an indoor and outdoor habitat, one that we don't have the time or money to maintain. As much as it would be fun to have a turtle, she's just too much work.
Fortunately, Hubby found a second local reptile rescue group. This one has volunteers who are willing to drive anywhere in the state for a reptile. (I think that's because they deal mainly with snakes and such that people took in as pets and no longer want). The leader of the group is located near Hubby's work. So this morning, Clementine is on her way to work with Hubby to picked up by this group. She'll spend 90 days in their care while they determine if she's healthy enough to be adopted out. Hopefully after that time period she'll find a family with the time and energy to provide her a good home.


MaryAnne said...

She's a lucky turtle! Great work researching a safe solution for her!

reanbean said...

That was very good of you and Hubs to do all that. I probably would have just moved the turtle elsewhere and let it continue on its way. It never would have occurred to me to check to see if it was supposed to be in the wild or not.

I'm glad you were able to find a second rescue group that was easier to get Clementine off too. I'm sure you'll all miss her, but it sounds like you definitely did the right thing.

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