Being a turtle parent is stressful. I couldn't fall asleep the first night because I was so worried about the turtles. What if the lab gets really cold overnight? What if they get caught in the filter? Now that the turtles have been at Lasell for three days I am feeling better about their health. They are swimming around more vigorously and seem to be doing all right. They still are not eating much but I was told to expect that. Still I check water temperature multiple times a day.
I'm in the process of trying to find some money to hire a student to help manage the turtles. I really need a student living on campus so I don't have to come in over the weekends. It also makes more sense to pay a student to clean the tank regularly rather than using my limited time. It would be a little income for the student and a great learning opportunity.
I now have a student doing an honors component around the turtles. She will be leading outreach activities with the Barn and adult visitors to the lab. She will also be working with Peru Middle School as we are working to develop a relationship with their Animals and Pets Club. While we are raising the turtles for the success of the species, it provides a tremendous outreach opportunity to educate people about endangered species.
Sodexho has agreed to donate leftover lettuce to the turtles. I'm happy about this arrangement because we will now have a regular source of lettuce on campus. I will probably still need to supplement this in the spring but it will work great for now.