Eastern Box Turtles

Shakespeare was adopted by Echo in 1996 (our first animal ambassador!) after some young boys took him out of the wild as a hatchling. They raised him as a water turtle (because they did not know what he was) and because of this his shell became deformed as he grew. After keeping him as a pet for a while, the family decided they did not want him anymore and gave him away. He is a beautiful turtle and will do just about anything for some wiggly nightcrawler worms. Although his shell will never look like a normal box turtle shell, he is still healthy and able to be just as active as our other turtles.

Tel’k was brought in to the Virginia Living Museum with two siblings in 1999 as hatchlings. They were found at construction site, presumably after their nest had been destroyed. Construction is one of the more common ways that turtle nests are threatened. As the nests are buried, they can be difficult to find and often the damage is only noticed after. Echo adopted Tel’k in 2000, and became an ambassador in 2002 with the founding of Echoes Of Nature. He has slight shell deformity, but otherwise is in perfect health.

Rytack is our most vibrant eastern box turtle, making him a very popular ambassador at programs and nature tables. He is small in size but has a large personality! He knows when it is worm-feeding-day and will be waiting at the front of his enclosure, watching with a careful eye, for the animal care staff to deliver his wiggly lunch. He is also not one to pass up a fight, and will try to go after our other males whenever he catches a glimpse of one, even though they are always in separate containers and he would never be able to actually get to them.

Ophelia was originally was meant to be an elementary graduation gift, but the child didn’t want her. She was then brought to the Washington Humane Society, and then transferred to Maryland Amphibian and Reptile and Amphibian Rescue where Echoes of Nature adopted her. She is an old turtle and is missing a couple of toes on each front foot and has old teeth marks on shell, possibly from life before she was adopted. Her front feet have some swelling and possible calcifications due to old injuries. Despite living in so many places and enduring several injuries, Ophelia is now healthy and enjoys basking in the sun and munching on salads. 

Desdemona was originally found in a yard near Echoes of Nature and kept hanging around. The homeowners grew concerned when she was almost hit by a lawnmower and her rear left leg was missing from an old incident. They brought her to Echoes of Nature for observation, and she seemed perfectly ready to be re-released, despite her loss of limb. However, she kept popping up on our doorsteps, likely due to the fact that in some not so distant past she may have been rehabbed and become habituated. She is not afraid or concerned about humans. At Echoes of Nature she stays safely out of the lawnmowers path and enjoys making friends with the grey tree frogs that hide in the crevasses of her outdoor enclosure.

Tel’k was brought in to the Virginia Living Museum with two siblings in 1999 as hatchlings. They were found at construction site, presumably after their nest had been destroyed. Construction is one of the more common ways that turtle nests are threatened. As the nests are buried, they can be difficult to find and often the damage is only noticed after. Echo adopted Tel’k in 2000, and became an ambassador in 2002 with the founding of Echoes Of Nature. He has slight shell deformity, but otherwise is in perfect health.