Friday, June 29, 2007

Man, I had to smack 'em down on Youtube

This is my poor, sweet tortoise.
I call her "Tortoise"
But they can't hear worth a damn, so actually I call her "TORTOISE!!"
Her story will be revealed below.



A year ago when I started all of this Myspace/Blog/Youtube stuff I put up some pointless movies I had on my computer. A few seconds here and there, mostly of my pets-just to see how it works. I don't really check into the messages too often. But I happened to stop by today and well, you know how those Youtube chats get. I stay away. A clip about Steely Dan will be posted. Someone will post:

DANFAN58
Cool, man. I saw them back in '78 and it was the concert of my life.

And be immediately answered with 30 posts along the lines of:

PUKEMAN
Steely Dan r teh SuXx0rzzZZZ!!!! Yoo R a FUKing n00b!

And the first guy is usually dumb enough to answer back, incurring a whole new hail of mental retardation in text message-speak.

Today I was dumb enough to answer back. But really, just because I wanted to get her story out anyway. Mind you, some people were genuinely concerned.

The comments:
shellyspeedy (6 months ago)
What type of tortoise is that? Is his shell ok?
EdLobster (5 months ago)
That is the most deformed leopard tortoise I've ever seen. Is he a rescue or something?
scritten94 (2 months ago)
that tort needs help its shell is really deformed dude
BlazeContara (2 months ago)
poor tortoise! :( What happened to his shell?!

bruceleetortoise (1 month ago)

that tort is messed up, you must get him to a vet to get some help!!!!
telecastga (1 month ago)
his shell looks like a dropped pie! thats a bad diet there.
JesusRiveraA (1 week ago)
there is something wrong there, what'a shell??? looks lik smashed potatoe
pornmankid (2 days ago)
I am disgusted in this clip.
Bruceleetortoise is correct.
Scritten its to late to put the shell right!
that poor tortoise needs a better home (if nto already)..before it gets worse!!

(sic)
Notice everyone assumes she's a male! Ignorant but sexist to boot!

My response (I had to send them to my site. Youtube only allows 500 character comments)-

For my friends at Youtube

Hi. Sorry I haven't checked in in a while. She is a Leopard tortoise.

You have astutely pointed out that her shell is not correctly formed. I am her 4th owner and her shell was irreversibly damaged by malnutrition by her first. At least the first owner surrendered her to N.O.A.H. (Northern Ohio Association of Herpetologists). She was then given to a family who had her for ~14 years. She escaped from her outdoor enclosure and ended up at the Lake Metroparks Penitentiary Glen Animal Rehabilitation Center and they gave her to me. I eventually met the family she escaped from and was able to learn her history.

I've had her for a few years and have not nor am I likely to see much correction in her shell. This is the 4th largest species of tortoise (I think) and her shell may correct a little if she gets large. However the damage to her shell may ultimately shorten her life if it affects the way she breathes or has otherwise adversely moved her organs around. Nonetheless, I have agreed to take responsibility for her and care for her to the best of my ability, probably for the rest of my life. She's not worth a nickel but someone has to love the ugly ones, right? She's a sweetie and I adore her.

Not that I owe an explanation to any of you, but she is as healthy as can be expected and she sees a vet regularly. Her full spectrum lights are changed every 6 months. Her diet for 18+ years was bagged frozen vegetables (at best) and now is fresh Opuntia pads, long grasses similar to her native land (I don't even feed her alfalfa as it is too high in protein) and some occasional fresh produce like dandelion greens (which I also grow at home for her). Yes, her beak was overgrown and her nails were allowed to grow too long by previous owners, but they have very long quicks (which means she would have to be anesthetized to cut them) and the vet and I are not comfortable with putting her under to cut them as her liver is probably not healthy enough to handle isoflurane. Therefore I give her the opportunity to walk on hard surfaces to wear them down. She was likely raised on carpeting. She now has a (secure) pen outdoors for summer and other warm days.

Thank (some of) you for being the passive aggressive, presumptuous, ignorant twits that I have come to expect from Youtube and keep me from participating in Youtube discussions in the first place.

For you others, thanks for your concern. When you visit pet stores, remember that you are taking on an awesome responsibility when you choose to take an animal home. Not only is nutrition important, but proper ambient temperature and often lighting as well. Here's some good advice.

Thanks

~Jimm

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