Trees Don’t Litter

If you’d ever seen how quickly our raccoon patients can devour twenty pounds of acorns or forage through six inches of fallen leaves for bugs, you’d understand exactly why there’s no need to “clean up” the gifts trees leave us in autumn! Many native animals in our area cannot survive winter without the bounty ofContinue reading “Trees Don’t Litter”

Reptiles Feel Pain, Even If They Don’t Show It

Unless someone is a total sicko, they’ll almost always rush to the vet as soon as they can if they find an injured puppy. Our brains are full of specialized cells, called mirror neurons, that create empathy when we see an animal that expresses pain the way we do. So if a puppy is crying,Continue reading “Reptiles Feel Pain, Even If They Don’t Show It”

Don’t Move a Box Turtle Somewhere “Better”

Have you ever seen a box turtle in a busy or barren area and decided to move it elsewhere? You’re not alone. Many box turtles get moved by well-meaning people who want to help them find a better place to live than a suburban lawn near a heavily trafficked road. The problem is that turtlesContinue reading “Don’t Move a Box Turtle Somewhere “Better””

Tennessee’s Alligator Snapping Turtles

Did you know that alligator snapping turtles are the only turtle species that carries its own fishing lure? When an alligator snapping turtle opens its mouth and wiggles its pink, worm-like lure, fish come from far and wide and wander straight into the turtle’s mouth. This enormous creature– not to be confused with it’s smallerContinue reading “Tennessee’s Alligator Snapping Turtles”

Never Paint a Live Turtle’s Shell!

Painting a turtle’s shell, whether the turtle is a pet or a wild animal, is an act of cruelty that causes the animal very serious harm. Turtle shells are not “dead”— they are part of the animal’s living organ system. Turtles absorb sunlight through their shells and convert it to vitamin D. When the shellContinue reading “Never Paint a Live Turtle’s Shell!”

Tennessee’s Box Turtles in Danger

It’s important to recognize the plight of wild animals right here in the Southeastern U.S. This handsome fellow is an Eastern box turtle, which has experienced a sharp population decline over the last few decades. Without intervention and protection, this once-common backyard guest could vanish forever. The good news is that everyday people like youContinue reading “Tennessee’s Box Turtles in Danger”

Moving a Turtle: a Death Sentence

People will often try to help an Eastern box turtle by taking it to an area with less traffic or more vegetation. This is one of the worst things you can do for a turtle. Box turtles have small territories no more than a few acres wide. When taken out of those territories, they useContinue reading “Moving a Turtle: a Death Sentence”

Leave Box Turtles Alone!

An Eastern box turtle should NEVER be relocated, or brought home as a pet. These precious animals are considered to be threatened and endangered, with the pet trade and personal “kidnapping” being among of their biggest risks. When handled, they experience extreme stress but don’t have the strength or speed to get away. Keeping aContinue reading “Leave Box Turtles Alone!”