In March of 2011 I was given two box turtles. They’d been living indoors without any lighting in tanks bedded with carefresh. Needless to say, they weren’t in top shape. It’s amazing how they’ve blossomed in the time that I’ve had them!

Spotty (top) came to me with a massively overgrown beak. I honestly don’t even know how he was able to eat. He is three-legged with some old shell damage, was probably attacked by a dog or raccoon. When I got him he looked very gray and had no coloring on his head or legs. It took a long time, but it’s grown back now…a vibrant orange! He’s a very handsome fellow. His previous owner had him for a long time, this turtle is likely older than I am. He is the friendliest little gentleman, and he loves to be hand-fed. I refer to him as my little turtley dog.

Sparkles (bottom) seems to be much younger. Originally thought to be female, she’s been displaying some pretty strong male sex characteristics. I still refer to Sparkles as a “her” out of habit. She’s a lot more colorful than Spotty. She was also gray-looking at first, now she’s super yellow. Her eyes were originally a dull brownish, but this past year they’ve turned bright red. She was in better shape upon arrival, but did have signs of MBD. She’s much less social than Spotty and spends most of her time basking, soaking, or hiding under her log.

I’ve tried lots of types of substrates, they seem to like this reptibark/coconut fiber/moss blend the best. I’m going to start work on an outdoor kiddie pool-based pen for them this summer soon so that they can get more outside time safe from local predators.

Looking forward to many more turtle-filled years!

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