RIP Rosie the Paraplegic Turtle

Rosie was a red ear slider that was rescued from the bike trail near Memorial Oak creek last Spring. Her back legs did not work, but other than that she was a normal turtle. Her tail moved and she was very mobile using her front legs to drag herself around.

Her favorite things to do were burying herself and hiding, bobbing up and down in the water, and sleeping under her tank heater. She ate and played and was as happy and capable as a regular turtle.

After a few months, we noticed she wasn’t growing at the same rate as her friend Cooper. In fact, she didn’t really grow much at all while Cooper’s size doubled, and then doubled again. Her rear legs and shell started to deteriorate but she never seemed like she noticed or cared. She crawled and swam just as much as before and still seemed to be happy.

Last week I noticed she wasn’t swimming or eating as much and spent more time in the heat lamp than usual. I hoped it was just a sign of the season and maybe she was starting a hibernation cycle, but yesterday when I cleaned her tank I found out she had quietly let go and gone to turtle heaven.

I am happy to have given her a chance at living a relatively long, happy and warm life compared to her fate if she had not been rescued. She made it a lot longer than anyone gave her credit for.

RIP Rosie.

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