My Turtle is Almost My Age!


Stacy Ceja, Contributor

I know it might be weird that a turtle was my first pet but it has been quite a journey learning about reptiles and properly caring for my turtle. My journey started when I was around 5 when my mom was gifted a turtle from her friend so I could have my first pet. We first had a small sized tank and my dad would help me clean the tank but I never touched it because they didn’t want me to get bit. When I was 12 I realized it was becoming my responsibility to feed my turtle but what was the most weirdest thing was that we never knew if it was a male or female turtle but we just assumed it was a female so we started to call her Princess. Later I did some research and found out that I was somehow correct that Princess was a female.

The hardest thing was buying a tank big enough for her because she kept growing more and more. I was never really scared of holding her while my cousin and my mom were so scared to even stick their hand in the tank. Well then one day my dad was helping me clean the tank and was scrubbing her shell because it helps when they shed their scales. As he was scrubbing her shell he didn’t notice and Princess caught his finger and my dad couldn’t get her to let go. He had that bad experience with her so he decided it was my full responsibility to take care of her.

My experience has not been bad just worrying about if my turtle is healthy and looking her best. I think having a pet turtle is a HUGE responsibility because it is not easy at all since they require a very complex set up but once you get the hang of what you should do it’s not hard. Now that I have some knowledge about my turtle I don’t know everything about turtles as I still have a lot to learn. But setting the responsibility stuff aside ever since I got my turtle I wouldn’t see myself not owning one and especially since I’ve had her for so long. I’m hoping that she will be around for many years to come!