Pickles finds a home

By Sharon St. Joan

Pickles was plucked from a dangerous spot right in the middle of the road last summer by Bobbie Foster, Wild Friends staff person. Since box turtles are not native to Southern Utah, she was clearly a lost pet, and attempts were made to find her person, but no one claimed her.

At the Sanctuary

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Pickles

So she settled in for a while at Wild Friends, peering shyly out from time to time to gaze at her caregivers. Definitely a salad-lover, she enjoyed spring mixes and sweet potatoes, but her real favorite was blueberries, which she devoured with gusto.

Keeping her humid in a naturally dry Southwest climate was a bit of a challenge, but it was solved with a kiddie pool so she could have a good soak every day, and a special substrate of coconut fiber that she liked to crawl around on — and could even hide in.

She was fond of neck scratches, too.

A home

Now Pickles has found her perfect home, with a family of box turtles and a turtle person. Denise, who lives in Los Angeles, has provided a lovely home to four other rescued turtles — Speedy, Etchy, Robbie and Tripod — each with a bit of a handicap. They have the run of the yard and enjoy the sunny days of California, and if they ever need any medical attention, her vet has 40 years of turtle experience.

Pickles packed her bags and set off to join her family, bringing along her kiddie pool, of course. She’s now making friends with her new brothers and sisters.

What to do if you find a turtle

Some turtles and tortoises are native to the U.S., and some are exotic, so if you find one on the road, please encourage him to go over to the side, without picking him up, and call your local licensed wildlife rehabilitator. The turtle or tortoise may or may not need rescuing, so you’ll need expert advice on what to do or what not to do.

Wild Friends at Best Friends can help you find a rehabilitator near you. You can reach them by calling 435-644-2001, ext. 4460. (The phone is monitored for messages, and there is an after-hours number.)

Photos by Molly Wald