Getting released is tiring work! This is one of 120 baby diamondback terrapins we released with @terrapinnestingproject this weekend! That brings our total to 2,500 babies released this year alone! This one was yawning right before jumping into the ocean. #terrapin#tired 😴🐢pc: @turtlesarentslow
Okay, so we like to get our reptiles some exercise. They, like many animals in captivity, can get lazy and fat without the rigors of a wild life style (ie - having to find food and run away from predators). When it’s slow, we let them run around to get some cardio!
Losing an animal is the absolute hardest part of my job.
I love being an aquarist more than almost anything in the world. But, it should go without saying that it isn’t all fun and games and we don’t just sit around “playing” with animals all day long.
My job is physically demanding, full of hard work, and more often than not, involves getting dirty and kind of smelly.
By far the hardest part of my job, though, is losing animals. On infrequent occasions we lose an animal due to an injury or illness we were unable to treat, but most often we lose animals due to old age. Many animals I work with either have a much shorter natural lifespan than we as humans do, or are already old for their species by the time I have come to care for them.
While some of this is known and expected, it doesn’t make the loss any easier. These animals are not our pets, and everyone in my field knows that, but it’s very hard to not grow attached to the animals you dedicate your life to and take care of day in and day out..as is the case with Petie.
Petie here was a diamondback terrapin well over 30 years in age. Though she was older for her species, we weren’t expecting to say goodbye to her quite yet. She had been at our facility for more than 26 years, and my boss had personally been taking care of her for longer than I have been alive. So, this loss hit us all pretty hard. When I go to feed our little terrapins, I still half expect to see her swim out and scramble around in hopes of getting a bite of clam or a back scratch. She was an incredible ambassador and everyone who met her loved her. Rest in peace, Petie Pie. I already miss your sweet, grumpy little face so incredibly much <3
Diamondback terrapin laying eggs at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. The group of volunteer naturalists is relocating a nest in harm’s way, carefully marking them to reorient them properly in a new nest off the path. Then they will install an exclosure to prevent egg predation. The species is listed as Threatened in Massachusetts.