Monday, September 18, 2006

not to be confused with White Castle or Krystal

Hong Ta Show was arrested last week. He was charged with illegal possession of wildlife after being caught selling baby turtles at a local flea market. A blog reader mentioned the story out of the blue in their comment to last Tuesday's post.

The turtles are the red-eared sliders that many of us had as pets when we were kids. They used to come with an inadequate clear plastic container that you would partially fill with water and then stick a plastic palm tree into the island in the middle.

The TWRA relocated the turtles to a tourist attraction in Sevierville called RainForest Adventures. My family and I went to see the little sliders yesterday. The facility is a lot like the reptile house at the zoo. I didn't even try to count all the species we saw. Some of my favorites were the tortoises, macaws, lemurs and a king cobra that put me in mind of Harry Potter and other parselmouths.

Two vending machines offered containers with shed skins from your choice of either venomous or non-venomous snakes. At 3pm, the keeper put on a presentation with birds, an alligator, a tarantula, a toad, a hedgehog and several other animals. Some we could not touch, like the snapping turtle, but others we could, like the snake we draped over our shoulders. The gift shop offered mostly animal related toys and souvenirs but it was a totally random t-shirt that made me laugh.

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Blogger Diane said...

Ah yes, pet turtles and their plastic, tropical paradise . . . didn't it seem though like there was always some recurring health scare associated with the little critters which would lead to lots of dads surreptitiously getting rid of lots of pet turtles while the kids were sleeping?


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