Six months has gone, but the old sibling is still beating himself up over the loss of his beloved Teddy (pic). Had decided one day like a good pet owner that he is, to take the little tortoise to a lake nearby so he could have a watery romp among his amphibious brethren.
Little Teddy the Red-Eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) liked it so much in the lake, he refused to return despite plaintive 3am cries of his “master” who had fed him and taken him everywhere for the better part of the last three years. (Cold) blood will tell after all. Bro says the little tortoise looks at home there. He still can’t stop talking about it though.
That Teddy has taken to the lake like tortoise(sic) to water proves just how resilient certain species are, how easily they adapt to new habitat and evolve accordingly. A popular choice among Asian pet owners, Red-Eared Sliders are nevertheless NOT native to Asia. This attractive tortoise species was commonly found in Southern US, spanning states such as Texas, New Mexico and Indiana.
It was mentioned in a National Geographic report as one of the many species taken out of their indigenous habitats to distant lands and flourished there as invasive species. Read up on it at a Columbia University site here.
According to the Global Invasive Species Database:
Slider turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans) are popular pets and as a result have become established in many parts of the world, where it is thought that they compete with native aquatic turtles. They are omnivorous and will eat insects, crayfish, shrimp, worms, snails, amphibians and small fish as well as aquatic plants. Red-eared sliders are found both in fresh and brackish waters including coastal marsh ponds.
Common Names: Gelbwangen-Schmuckschildkroete, red-eared slider, red-eared slider terrapin.
Doesn’t seem quite a cute little thing anymore, does it, when you face the global implications of these invasive species?