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12 July 2006 @ 10:28 pm
What a Sweet Little Guy  
On Saturday May 27th, Jim made a 900 mile, 12 hour round trip to southern California to pick up a young California Desert tortoise named Tickle. Tickle was in distress and close to dying. Tickle's owner was very concerned and well meaning but she had been given bad advice about diet and habitat for poor Tickle.

This is what Tickle looked like when Jim first brought him home.

Tickle was badly dehydrated, malnourished and vitamin deficient. He could not open his eyes, he could not walk and his shell was (and still is) very soft. We think that when she had hibernated him, he was kept too warm and he was under weight to begin with. On top of all this she said that Tickle was three years old, but he was the size of a yearling. We gave the little guy about a 5 to 10% chance of survival.

To our surprise Tickle responded to care very quickly. The little guy has a strong will to survive.

The first two or three days we soaked him and hand fed him finely cut greens. By the third day he started to fed on his own. After the first week we would take him out once a day for sun (UVB) and a little exercise.

This is what Tickle looks like now.

This picture was taken almost six week after the first one.

Tickle gets outside time every day now in his special habitat. We also feed him greens (dandelion, kale and collard) two or three times a day.

This picture is for scale. He is quite small.
Current Mood: tiredtired
the oldest baby in the worldkarenleigh on July 13th, 2006 01:25 pm (UTC)
How wonderful that you saved him! Tickle is beautiful. Yay!