Readers’ turtles for World Turtle Day

May 23, 2018 • 2:30 pm

Today is World Turtle Day, and at my request some readers have sent in their pet turtles (and two furry “turtles”). Here are their photos and notes (indented):

Reader Divy Figueroa sent several turtles:

My husband and I house many turtles from all over the world. Here are some pics of some of the species we currently keep and are hoping to breed.
I labeled them with their common name and scientific name.
And since it is World Cat day everyday for us cat lovers, I also attached a pic of my two furry rascals, Jango and Boba Fett.
Adult male Flat-shell turtle (Notochelys platynota); Indonesia:
Baby Red-headed Amazon Side Neck Turtles (Podocnemis erythrocephala):

Male Forest Hingeback Tortoise (Kinixys erosa); Togo:

Jango and Boba Fett:
From reader Joe McClain sent a box turtle:

I might have mentioned our turtle Gimpy before. Gimpy is not a pet, but rather a free and unfettered Terrapene carolina who visits the house from time to time. He hasn’t shown up yet this year and we are getting a bit concerned. Gimpy has gone two years without coming to the patio before. We’re always glad to see him.

Gimpy got his name from a damaged hindlimb. He lost a claw somehow, but the stump was completely healed when we first saw him. It doesn’t seem to slow him down at all, but he’s a tortoise, so who knows. You see that scar on his carapace? I did that by accident a few years ago. I was running the weed whacker and stuck it under the edge of a rhododendron and heard a “whop, whop.” I thought it was a plastic bucket, but it was Gimpy. I apologized and set him up with a gimpburger and a mojito.

From reader Christopher, who sent three:

Wednesday is World Turtle Day, so here are two box turtles (ok, tortoises) I recently found inhabiting my field next to a creek in Missouri, an hour south of KC. The first is Terrepene ornata and the second is Terrepene carolina triunguis.

And another Missouri turtle, Chelydra serpentina [snapping turtle], with a funky front foot, that I picked up from a busy road.

A quick note about turtles and tortoises. According to, more than half of the 356 species are threatened with extinction, for usual reasons (poaching, pet trade, habitat destruction) including Rafetus swinhoei (2 males, 1 female left), the ploughshare tortoise, Astrochelys yniphira of Madagascar, and nearly every member of the genus Cuora in Asia and the genus Batagur in Southeast Asia, just to name a few.

From reader Lee Beringsmith:

My two photos for Turtle day.

These are our pet Red-Footed Tortoises (Chelonoidis carbonaria) enjoying their breakfast.

This is our cement garden decoration that survived a terrible fire we had at our ranch last summer. Lost the beautiful paint job in the flames but has earned a place in our future landscape (Chelonoidis Concretia).

And from reader Mark Richardson:

Here’s a couple of Red-Eared Slider pics (Trachemys scripta elegans). She’s named “Big Mama”.

12 thoughts on “Readers’ turtles for World Turtle Day

  1. It might be interesting to see the history of Chelonoidis Concretia alongside that of Chelonoidis Clayformia. Perhaps recently as three hundred million years ago they had a common ancestor.

  2. Loved all the turtles and tortoises and cats. And surprised to see Chelonoidis Concretia as I thought they went extinct long ago.

    Divy’s turtle collection is absolutely gorgeous. Please send more photos to Jerry for Reader’s Wildlife Photos!!!

  3. Wonderful to see all these different turtles, pets and visiting turtles.
    I hope Gimpy shows up this year. I wonder how far he goes.

  4. What a great post! I’m so glad I just saw cats named Jango and Boba.

    Tortoise shells are impressively tough. Can’t believe Gimpy took that weed whacker like a champ.

  5. Not as cuddly as cats, but one thing in favor of turtles: they don’t shed!

    Beautiful photos, all. You have some lovely Chelonian kids in your family. Thanks to PCC for honoring our hard shelled friends today. They really are in dire straits, excepting a very few species. I don’t work for Big Turtle, but I would urge readers with some extra dosh laying around to send some in the general direction of the Turtle Conservancy or the Turtle Survival Alliance, both of whom routinely care for confiscated wild tortoises, usually en route to a slow death in a restaurant or food stall in Asia somewhere. Plus, both groups have a great deal of info and pics of some truly terrific tortoises! Cheers! 🐢

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