Once a tortoise has Metabolic Bone Disease and suffers significant internal and external damage from poor or incorrect care there is not much that can be done. The damage is permanent and cannot be reversed. The best outcome is to provide a safe, stress-free environment for the rest of their days. Thus, the sanctuary residents live high-on-the-hog and will live out their days as happy as possible.
Your support will allow me to continue to give them the good life as long as possible.
Lewis (Sulcata) – Lewis arrived in March of 2018. Details are sketchy but the story goes his owner and him traveled America’s highways in a freight truck. Unfortunately, tortoises don’t want to travel the highways and his overall condition shows it. He has MBD and enough internal and external damage to significantly shorten his life.
Hulk (Russian) – Hulk arrived May 2020 with extremely swollen right fore-and-hind limbs, unable to move the front limb or extend his head and neck. After vet review, the decision was made to remove the front limb. Amputation took place as well as removing the calcified masses from the hind limb. The hind limb remains intact because he has full range of motion. Someday he might require another surgery or amputation on the hind limb if the masses come back or range of motion ceases.
Hulk has since healed and adapted to life with three legs. He lives outside all summer and behaves like any other 4-legged tortoise. He is also an education tortoise and goes to events to show people the amazing ability of tortoises to heal and adapt.
Gloria (Sulcata) – Named after the song by Gloria Gaynor, “I will survive,” Gloria is a perfect example of surviving. She arrived in July 2021 in the condition she is in today. Weighing in at 50+ pounds, she’s a force, often breaking out of her enclosure just to sit in the sun near where I’m working outside. She’s also a very gentle and kind tortoise. Used for educational events, she is gentle with kids, eats from their hands and is a walking example of the resiliency of tortoises.
Anecdotal evidence suggests she was fed a primarily animal protein diet (incorrect diet), resulting in Metabolic Bone Disease and deformation.
H2 (Russian) – H2 arrived July 2021, presenting the same swelling in the right front leg as Hulk but with full range of motion. After vet review, it was decided to leave the leg intact and continue to monitor. A time may come where the leg declines and will need to be removed.
Zig and Zag (Redfoot):
Zig/Zag (Redfoot) – Zig and Zag arrived together. Raised together, suffering from MBD, both cannot lift themselves up to walk properly. They scute on their knees, causing cuts that constantly need to be attended. The extent of damage is mind-boggling, as is the fact they are still alive. Both are over the age of 20 years and weigh less than a pound.
Support Zig and Zag
SP (Sulcata) – SP is short for Saraphina. Saraphina was another Sulcata that got a bad deal from her owner. Saraphina was a sweet girl that didn’t deserve her life cut short. SP is in the same boat. Her previous owner didn’t take care of her and her condition shows it. She has chronic respiratory problems and needs medicine constantly. She’s also has to be permanently quarantined. She has MBD and enough internal and external damage to significantly shorten her life.
Eileen supports SP! Thank you!
FUBAR (Ornate Box Turtle):
FUBAR (Ornate Box turtle) – FUBAR is proof of a turtle/tortoise’s resiliency. Arriving in December 2011 he weighed 2.5 ounces at 5 years old. His deformities were significant. Many bones were deformed or fused the wrong direction. His largest challenge was both eyelids were fused shut. Box turtles are visual eaters thus, creating a huge challenge of getting him to eat. I devised a system to essentially make him mad so he’d lash out and bite and I would put food into his mouth. The system worked and it’s morphed into putting the food in a corner and him in front, he’ll take care of the rest.
Nubs (Box Turtle):
Nubs (Box Turtle) – Nubs is more proof of turtle/tortoise resiliency. Arriving in September 2020, Nubs suffered years of poor care resulting in Metabolic Bone Disease. Nubs is unable to use his legs properly and scoots along on his knees, his skin is paper thin and cuts and bleeds often, his beak needs constant trimming, treatment for shell rot and specialized diet and pens. Nubs also gets water therapy to help circulation.