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Caca Cabeza

Box turtle fence anarchy

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My wife’s school has a circular planter made from interlocking concrete blocks. She wants to let the school’s box turtle live there this summer. She needs some kind of fence or barrier about 3 or 4 inches high to keep it in. 

Thr big requirement is it must look good. What’s out there? If I knew what to google I would. 

Thanks!

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 She needs a chicken wire fence 6' high with a top to it.

 Box tortoises can climb like nobody's business. They can also tunnel down several feet in very little time.

She also needs to make sure it gets plenty of grubs, and or slugs, along with fresh raspberries. Contrary to common thought, Box tortoises are omnivores.

If your wife's school wants to keep this critter captive, it's best to keep it indoors in a supervised environment. (Depending on where you are, it may actually be illegal to pen up a wild box tortoise).

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We had a Russian tortoise in Bama, those guys can dig like mad. I had an outdoor enclosure for her under a branch of the nectarine tree. The damned groundhog kept opening the fence to get the fruit, I kept mending it, either from that or from digging below, she finally got out, ran away, we never got her back. I should have painted some yellow on her shell. 

It's not so much the height, but the depth too with those guys.

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Since the perimeter is concrete landscaping blocks digging isn’t an issue. It the 3 foot fall 

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18 minutes ago, Caca Cabeza said:

Since the perimeter is concrete landscaping blocks digging isn’t an issue. It the 3 foot fall 

Sounds like Raiford for Turtles. I'm sure it will not be happy. And 3' is nothing for a box tortoise to dig in a few hours. I assume the surrounding land is concrete so the poor thing can't just pop up on the other side of the wall.

 Sounds like a very bad idea in any case.

 Don't free it in a creek. Box tortoises don't swim.

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20 minutes ago, Lark said:

Is this an Easter box Turtle?    Maybe the teachers should set a good example for the kids.

http://www.wildlifewatchers.org/esReports/report30.html

http://www.boxturtles.com/box-turtle-conservation/

Easter box?..... Shouldn't that be Easter basket?

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1 hour ago, Mrleft8 said:

Easter box?..... Shouldn't that be Easter basket?

nah, the little guy didn’t want to admit he grew up on the Suwanee river and told everybody he was from some island.   :D

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27 minutes ago, Lark said:

nah, the little guy didn’t want to admit he grew up on the Suwanee river and told everybody he was from some island.   :D

Down here we have Gopher Tortoises, which look like giant, drab Box Tortoises. They are impressively large, but very bland. And in theory it's illegal to even touch one. When I first got here I saw a WWII German army helmet crossing the road. Like I do everywhere, I stopped, and moved the guy(or girl) off to the side of the road in the direction they were going. A friendly person stopped and told me it was a good thing they weren't a cop, or I'd be arrested for "molesting" a gopher Tortoise.......

 Sure enough.... It's a law..... I have at least 3 nesting on my property..... I pay them no mind. They go about their business, and I go about mine. Aldo, my lard ass half hound/half pig thinks they're odd, and barks at them. They ignore him.

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13 minutes ago, Mrleft8 said:

Down here we have Gopher Tortoises, which look like giant, drab Box Tortoises. They are impressively large, but very bland. And in theory it's illegal to even touch one. When I first got here I saw a WWII German army helmet crossing the road. Like I do everywhere, I stopped, and moved the guy(or girl) off to the side of the road in the direction they were going. A friendly person stopped and told me it was a good thing they weren't a cop, or I'd be arrested for "molesting" a gopher Tortoise.......

 Sure enough.... It's a law..... I have at least 3 nesting on my property..... I pay them no mind. They go about their business, and I go about mine. Aldo, my lard ass half hound/half pig thinks they're odd, and barks at them. They ignore him.

Cool.    I once had chance to canoe a bit in Okenfenokee and met some cool ass spiders, but really don’t know wildlife with a southern accent very well.   I googled the box turtle range to extend through Georgia, and guessed.    You have some hard working turtles.  

  

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9 minutes ago, Lark said:

Cool.    I once had chance to canoe a bit in Okenfenokee and met some cool ass spiders, but really don’t know wildlife with a southern accent very well.   I googled the box turtle range to extend through Georgia, and guessed.    You have some hard working turtles.  

  

They were called "Wilson chickens" at one point, which is whyy they are now protected.....

 

13 minutes ago, Lark said:

Cool.    I once had chance to canoe a bit in Okenfenokee and met some cool ass spiders, but really don’t know wildlife with a southern accent very well.   I googled the box turtle range to extend through Georgia, and guessed.    You have some hard working turtles.  

  

GOOD LORD! That looks like the vid of my last colonoscopy!

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11 hours ago, SailBlueH2O said:

Free the fuck'n turtle in a creek in the woods....WTF......:angry:...I'm pizzed

That's what we did with an aquatic box turtle when I was a kid.

Her name was Fertile the Turtle because she hatched two batches of eggs in our turtle pen. No males around.

We let her go in the Everglades. In a perhaps-unrelated development, we have these invasive exotic species in the Glades...

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I dont know that freeing the tortiose is a good idea. How long has it been in captivity? Forever? I had a "Desert Tortoise" when I lived in CA. The deceased previous owner had it in her yard for 50 years. The buyers of my house took the tortoise responsibility with the house. Mytle is probably still wandering that little yard.

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2 hours ago, warbird said:

I dont know that freeing the tortiose is a good idea. How long has it been in captivity? Forever? I had a "Desert Tortoise" when I lived in CA. The deceased previous owner had it in her yard for 50 years. The buyers of my house took the tortoise responsibility with the house. Mytle is probably still wandering that little yard.

One my friends has a pet turtle. It's about the size of a cereal bowl (upside down of course). It knows people feed it some times, and I think it is entertained by our wiggling fingers and toes, too; it seems to like people and to be curious about us. He feeds it live crickets but it eats almost anything. He has a big terrarium that it spends most of it's time in, but he lets it wander the house when they're home at leisure with a ramp back into the terrarium. He says he lets it wander the back yard too when he can attend it, but doesn't want to let it go.

Another friend with a turtle lost it when he built a large outdoor terrarium for it, with a little pond, and about 3' high cement walls. I think the turtle either tunneled out or else was picked up by a predator (didn't tell him that). Now the turtle habitat is a kitchen herb garden.

-DSK

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Growing up I lived in a house with a cement wall around the yard in downtown Charleston.  My elementary school teacher knew this, and one day she offered a found Western box turtle (female, with one eye missing) as a rescue.  We took her on and loved having her around.  She was very content, and when she knew that an appearance on our breakfast patio at 7 in the morning might lead to a tomato or piece of lettuce, she made regular appearances.  A few years later, when my sister had the same teacher, the opportunity to rescue a (male) Western box arose.  We took him in, and it turns out the two box turtles got on - and got it on - splendidly.  Those morning tomatoes were sometimes accompanied by a reproductive act, and we soon had a bunch of little baby turtles, some of whom we gave away (and some of whom could get under our wooden gate*, and we would sadly find squished in the street).  But they were great pets - we all really loved them.  And they were no maintenance, other than having a securely fenced yard - including against burrowing.  (These turtles also hibernated a few inched below ground, and we would occasionally dig into them - not harming them - when doing our winter planting).

I cannot recommend them enough, but as everyone here said, make sure your fences and gates are secure, and that they go deep into the ground.

 

*The gate had a clearance of about 3" over the concrete patio, so burrowing under the gate was not an option.

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I read a report years back that a park biologist at Yellowstone had started a project with western box turtles in the dark ages (1930's?).   He photographed and identified them by shell markings, weighed them, and radiographed the females to determine egg counts.    The study was continued through his long career, with photocopiers replacing the photographs.  Many turtles were caught multiple times over the years.   As the numbers accumulated they looked at egg counts relative to inferred age (the age at first capture was of course unknown).   Their conclusion:   Girl turtles get better with age.  50 year old turtles predictably had a larger egg count then younger turtles.    

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Well..... Since we're recalling the olden days....

 There was a kid in our town, who took it upon himself to track turtles/tortoises of all kinds. I remember bringing in Box tortoises to his yard at a very young age (with the help of my parents, of course). Some times these critters had little brass tags attached to their shells. He'd record where they got caught, and where they'd been tagged. Some of these critters were found out as far as Ohio, and Western Pennsylvania, but he figured there'd been a car involved in those. But largely he found that Eastern Box Tortoises stayed within about 2 miles of where they were from.

This boy recently retired from the position of Judge of probate in that same town. And he still has all the turtle records from when he was a kid, and he still, very rarely, gets a call from someone who's found one of his tagged turtles.

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1 hour ago, ease the sheet said:

Its a turtle. Surely it aint going to get far......

Actually, Box tortoises can really boogie on the Right terrain. Black top is not the right terrain.

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On 5/7/2018 at 6:16 AM, warbird said:

I dont know that freeing the tortiose is a good idea. How long has it been in captivity? Forever? I had a "Desert Tortoise" when I lived in CA. The deceased previous owner had it in her yard for 50 years. The buyers of my house took the tortoise responsibility with the house. Mytle is probably still wandering that little yard.

When we lived in Oklahoma, we rented a large house in town, a big rambling two story - in Lawton. It was a considerably larger abode than I had ever experienced, having lived mostly in military housing up to that point. We had to rent the house because the military housing (which we eventually moved to) was full. But I digress.

The landlord said there was a tortoise/turtle (the species unknown to my youthful memory but it was labeled a "snapping turtle") in the sizable fenced back yard and a requirement of renting was that it would continue to live there unmolested. My mother hated the thing, sure that it posed some danger to her own bare toes while hanging laundry and those of her children while playing.....after all....it was a "snapping turtle". One day it simply was not there, much to my mom's joy. Then a month or two later...there it was again. Its disappearance and reappearance was an enduring mystery to this day. I suppose it could have been hidden in the trees and considerable leaf litter at the very back border of the yard. We never fed the thing, I have no idea what it ate. It was still there when we moved out..........

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10 hours ago, Point Break said:

When we lived in Oklahoma, we rented a large house in town, a big rambling two story - in Lawton. It was a considerably larger abode than I had ever experienced, having lived mostly in military housing up to that point. We had to rent the house because the military housing (which we eventually moved to) was full. But I digress.

The landlord said there was a tortoise/turtle (the species unknown to my youthful memory but it was labeled a "snapping turtle") in the sizable fenced back yard and a requirement of renting was that it would continue to live there unmolested. My mother hated the thing, sure that it posed some danger to her own bare toes while hanging laundry and those of her children while playing.....after all....it was a "snapping turtle". One day it simply was not there, much to my mom's joy. Then a month or two later...there it was again. Its disappearance and reappearance was an enduring mystery to this day. I suppose it could have been hidden in the trees and considerable leaf litter at the very back border of the yard. We never fed the thing, I have no idea what it ate. It was still there when we moved out..........

Did yer mom have all her toes when you left?

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17 minutes ago, Mrleft8 said:

Did yer mom have all her toes when you left?

All of them.....as did my little brother and I. :lol: Seriously despite Mom’s trepidation’s, there was never a single encounter with the little fella. I found it a pretty boring critter very quickly and paid no further attention. I think Mom looked around every day......

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We found this little guy by the side of the road when we were taking a bike ride once.

DSCN0762.thumb.JPG.5c40d3e9ccc36f75bffc206159cd154e.JPG

But there were signs nearby, so we didn't try and help him.

DSCN0751.thumb.JPG.c1cf7bbcadd2b6404d1b43f22d8ad969.JPG

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48 minutes ago, Mrleft8 said:

Did yer mom have all her toes when you left?

20150925_115326.thumb.jpg.49d865cf133e597fa8403746a6279b72.jpg

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7 hours ago, Point Break said:

All of them.....as did my little brother and I. :lol: Seriously despite Mom’s trepidation’s, there was never a single encounter with the little fella. I found it a pretty boring critter very quickly and paid no further attention. I think Mom looked around every day......

A snapping turtle will bite if you're fucking with it, otherwise not.

We had a gopher tortoise (like the one my dog is carrying above) that lived in my dad's orchid enclosure outside the kitchen. Most spoiled turtle ever. It liked white bread soaked in milk and tangerine slices (with skin removed, of course.) Don't ask me how the heck they figured out that's what it liked, but it did and would turn its nose up at anything else offered.

If food was not provided promptly, it would ram the protrusion of its lower shell into the sliding door until food appeared.

When my dad went out to work on his plants, it would ram him. They're surprisingly powerful and it could occasionally knock him off balance when he was squatting by a plant.

So they're not all boring. This one had character.

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And here I was thinking this was about a fence built out of turtle shells.

So disappointed.

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9 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

We found this little guy by the side of the road when we were taking a bike ride once.

DSCN0762.thumb.JPG.5c40d3e9ccc36f75bffc206159cd154e.JPG

But there were signs nearby, so we didn't try and help him.

DSCN0751.thumb.JPG.c1cf7bbcadd2b6404d1b43f22d8ad969.JPG

A wood turtle. I spent my childhood and early adulthood looking for one of those... Never found one. They are one of the coolest turtles I've never seen in the wild.

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3 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

A snapping turtle will bite if you're fucking with it, otherwise not.

We had a gopher tortoise (like the one my dog is carrying above) that lived in my dad's orchid enclosure outside the kitchen. Most spoiled turtle ever. It liked white bread soaked in milk and tangerine slices (with skin removed, of course.) Don't ask me how the heck they figured out that's what it liked, but it did and would turn its nose up at anything else offered.

If food was not provided promptly, it would ram the protrusion of its lower shell into the sliding door until food appeared.

When my dad went out to work on his plants, it would ram him. They're surprisingly powerful and it could occasionally knock him off balance when he was squatting by a plant.

So they're not all boring. This one had character.

 

One of my own personal quirks, perhaps, but I don't think turtles are boring. For one thing, they are among the oldest existing species, going back to the dinosaurs. My friends turtle would beg at the dinner table, like some dogs (ones with no manners) only lower to the ground. He'd shove your foot around or butt his head into your ankle. I can easily believe they have a personality.

Snapping turtles.... they really don't like people. They won't chase a person but they can extend their necks surprisingly far & fast. Some can take a chunk out of your hand if you're holding the back of their shell. I don't fuck with snapping turtles except to move them off a road, and then only with a broom or a shovel. If they start hissing and pulling their head back, I back away.

-DSK

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9 hours ago, Mrleft8 said:

A wood turtle. I spent my childhood and early adulthood looking for one of those... Never found one. They are one of the coolest turtles I've never seen in the wild.

That's a Galapagos Tortoise. That's not a forced perspective picture.

I don't remember exactly which subspecies, but it was on Isla Isabela.

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1 hour ago, B.J. Porter said:

That's a Galapagos Tortoise. That's not a forced perspective picture.

I don't remember exactly which subspecies, but it was on Isla Isabela.

AH! Silly me! I figured the turtle was about 8" across..... Not 28" across.

 Still..... Looks a lot like a wood turtle if you don't have the reference....

image.png.338b6a092b371ca00445287fbf45552f.png

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I once witnessed Galapagos Tortoise sex at the Miami Zoo. It looks about like you'd expect but the real show was the noises they make.

My brother's remark, "UHHHH, indeed!"

Wish I could figure out how to type the sound better.

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