6. Bring in
the family pet when turtles are in the area.Unfortunately,
the natural instincts of Fido and Fluffy cause a devastating impact on native
Texas wildlife. Domestic dogs and cats kill shelled neighbors either outright
through injury; the resulting infection from inflicted wounds; susceptibility
to disease, starvation, and predation from a compromised state post-attack; or
from undue stress and dehydration inflicted upon harassed chelonians. One of the
defense mechanisms of box turtles and tortoises
is to urinate on their attackers. In the process, they usually empty their entire
bladder and any water reserves they may have garnered to stave off future dry
spells. If the turtles are unable to quickly resolve their fluid deficit, a challenging
prospect in this time of severe drought, they will perish an agonizing death from
dehydration. You can prevent these dire scenarios of suffering very simply: bring
your dogs and cats inside whenever you see a turtle or tortoise in your yard.
Do not let your furry friends back outside until you have given your property
and the surrounding area a quick survey and ensured the armored adventurer has
continued in his/her travels out of the range of your feline and canine companions.
|This three-toed box
turtle had to be wrangled from the mouth of a black lab, which had been using
the unfortunate chelonian as a chew toy.