Tuesday, November 18, 2008

settled our brains

There is lots of good news about tortoises and turtles in my drafts folder. As a huge fan of the reptiles, I've collected several stories over the past two weeks. First the turtles. South Carolina has seen a big increase in sea turtle nests on its shores this year. The numbers are almost double last year's and almost quadruple 2004's.

The Knoxville Zoo has a long history of success breeding exotic turtle and tortoise species. The News Sentinel had another article about the program earlier this month. The zoo has over 225 individual turtles, including a one-eyed, black breasted leaf turtle named Willie. Visitors often see his eyeless side and think he's dead.

Meanwhile at a zoo in Ecuador, a 90-year-old Pinta Island tortoise named George has been unable to reproduce. Scientists are trying to figure out if he's doomed to die as the last of his subspecies. There's still a slim chance he could father some hatchlings with a female of a slightly different subspecies.

A family in Carson Valley, Nevada, just added three hatchlings to the ten desert tortoises they already had. The Nevada Appeal ran a nice story about them with a couple of super-cute photos of the day-old babies.

Last but not least, there's joy in Cupertino because Butch is back. The 150-year-old pet had been missing for weeks. He was apparently taken from his family's yard on September 25 and was returned on November 10. His first order of business? Take a long winter's nap.

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