Pet of the Day

April 28, 2000

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Taco and Tamale, the Pet of the Day
Name: Taco, Tamale
Age: 28+ years old
Gender: Female, Male
Kind: Three Toed Box Turtle,
Eastern Box Turtle
Home: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
   The turtles originally came from a zoo that had too many box turtles. I got Taco the female (lighter shell) first and felt she was lonely, and then got Tamale the male (darker shell). They were full grown when I "adopted" them over 23 years ago. They have the names Taco and Tamale because they are between two shells!

    Tamale escaped from his summer outdoor pen in 1986 and was lost for a week. A Department of Public Works employee found him in the street and released him in a wooded area of a nearby park. I learned this out and scoured the park for seven days. It really was looking for a needle in a haystack, but I did find him. While he was lost, Taco was very lonely, pacing the floor in our house looking for him. She was so happy when he was found, she "ran" right up to him.

    Although they don't do much, these box turtles are very gentle and interesting animals. They live in an old desk drawer and sleep in shoe box "caves." Several days each week, they get the run of the second floor of our house. They like sweet potatoes, bananas, earth worms, canned dog food, strawberries, and cantaloupe.

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