Monday, August 16, 2010

MISSING! Red eared sliders

Two of our baby red eared slider turtles have gone missing. They were in the bath tub overnight in a small aquarium such as this one.  Except I had no pebbles or platform.

The two smaller turtles were in there with a larger turtle.  I had placed them there while I cleaned their much larger tank in my son's room.  I was waiting for help to get the larger tank outside.  So the turtles were living in the bath tub.

I fed them last Thursday morning.  There were three turtles.  I went to Avery school and spoke to her teacher about a few things.  By the time I left I had offered one of our baby turtles as the class pet.  I had the extra aquarium and pebbles.  I told the kids when I picked them up from school that one of the turtles was going to Avery's classroom for the school year.  I actually expected more upset but there was really nothing said.

The next morning I went to feed the turtles, since sadly, they were still in the bathtub.  Now there was only one turtle. The large turtle was alone.  Missing were the two little turtles.   It was just strange.  Where could two baby turtles get too?  They couldn't get out of the Aquarium, never mind the bath tub. 

The only time another one of our pets went missing was when Cullen's fighting fish disappeared from its fish bowl. It was in the house less than a day when it evaporated into thin air.  Later the same day I noticed that the fish was gone I found our cat, Flirt, sitting over the bowl.  Never had I seen him up on the dresser before this day.

So I have 4 suspects; Cullen, Avery, Connor and Flirt.  I can pretty much remove Cullen from the list. The idea of letting his turtles go makes him burst into tears. So I know he would not have done anything to harm them.

Avery on the other hand, would be motivated to keep those baby turtles to herself and not share them with her class mates.  I remember telling her that she could not, under any circumstances tell her classmates that the turtle was hers and not their.  It belonged to the whole class for the duration it was in Ms. Latil's room.

Connor, who has recently turned into a "real boy". He loves  to tease his sister until she is in tears.  He loves to call people names, "Yes, Mrs Frenchfry".  He is very good at ignoring me. And he makes a habit of getting into his brother and sisters things when they are not around.  However, he is a little skiddish when it comes to bugs and other crawling animals.  He wants to touch them but gets immediately freaked out and drops them.

Flirt, on the other hand, already has a criminal record.  But imaging him removing two turtles from 5 inches of water and then getting them out of the bathtub too seems pretty far fetched.  He would have had to reach over the rim of the tank and into the water.  Balanced the turtle with his paw and flung it up and out of the tank, twice.  Really? Really?

When the 4 suspects were told of the turtles disappearance there was really little to no response from any of them.  I have prodded, cajoled, threatened and bribed the truth out of each of them. And nothing!  I have no confessions, expect the one Avery came up with when I offered her $20 to tell me where the turtles were.  Her confession was a pretty good but it pretty much exonerated her.

I keep my nose sniffing for dead turtle smells and my eyes peeled for baby turtle shells but so far, the mystery of the missing turtles has not been solved.


edward.harvey said...

Hmmm...I didn't realize the turtles were call red eared sliders. Maybe there has been some confusion between the turtles and the small hamburgers popularized by the White Castle fast food chain.

Anonymous said...

reading this put a great big smile to my face. i too lost a baby red eared slider and still have not found any trace of the turtle ever being in my house. - liz

Anonymous said...

It is uncommon but older red-eared sliders may eat younger turtles

Unknown said...

Hi I posted this query on And then I read your post.. so I'm just gonna paste it here too..

This happened a few years ago. I had two turtles.. almost of the same age but one was bigger than the other.. one of them disappeared overnight.. there was only one turtle in the tank when I saw in the morning, and our door was closed, we have an apartment. Also the tank walls were too high for either of them to climb out so that could not have happened. So whatever happened, happened inside the tank. We looked everywhere in the house, nothing. My dad said the other one must have eaten it and a friend of his suggested that turtles don't just eat their companions randomly out of the blue, unless... the turtle died first, and then the other one saw him merely as meat and ate it.. funny thing is .. there was no shell found either! So if he ate him, he ate the shell too!.. I want to know if this is possible.. the smaller one must have been 3-4 inches and bigger one must have been 5 maybe .. so not like it was very small..

This has been a huge mystery for me, and till today I think about what happened to that turtle and where did it go.. because whoever has heard this story says a turtle won't eat another turtle like that and with shell.

Things you should know -

there was no one who could have stolen it, as we have good security here and we stay on the 10th floor..

Tank walls were too high so they can't climb out.

Windows were not close to the tank, infact quite far, so a bird couldn't have flown in and taken it..

The only possible reasoning is that the other one ate him whole without any remains..

When I checked the tank later in the morning for shell or anything I could find, I did see some stuff which could have been bone or body part but I'm not sure it could be stuff remaining from their previous meals too.. but why would he leave that behind if he ate the shell..

So if anyone could suggest what may have happened, it would help a lot. I didn't find any such questions on google.. all missing turtle links assume the turtle has gone out of the tank..I can't stop thinking about this. Hopefully someone can figure this out. Thanks.

P.S. - the other turtle is doing great by the way, he's grown double the size in this time.. (but he still can't reach the tank walls to escape btw..) he's almost 10 now.