Wednesday, July 18, 2007

friendly neighborhood turtle-man

Turtles and tortoises were the true stars of a documentary on PBS last night. I saw a blurb about the show on the Pop Candy blog and was able to set my TiVo before going out for the evening. The film moves slowly, as you might expect from something turtle related. "The Chances of the World Changing" follows a New York writer whose life unravels as he tries to care for 1,200 turtles and tortoises. He and the turtles get pressured to move out of his Manhattan apartment and his deal to buy land in New Jersey falls through. He had hoped to build an institute for the preservation of his beloved turtles, many of which were endangered species. He began his difficult journey when he saved a turtle from being made into soup at a Chinese restaurant. Ultimately he realizes that he cannot keep his huge collection together and he has to find new homes for the turtles. I learned from the documentary that there is a Turtle Survival Alliance. This TSA has its annual conference next week in Atlanta.

During my first year in Knoxville, I was invited to see the turtle collection of a local lawyer and his wife. As I recall, the husband was also a metal sculptor and the wife was an actress. They eventually moved downtown and donated their turtles to the same facility in Sevierville where I went last year to see some rescued baby sliders. More recently some friends from church have invited me to see their turtles. We need to find a mutually convenient time for me to bring a camera and take some photos for the blog.

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