Saturday, March 24, 2007
I was cleaning out Howard's tank tonight and realized he's grown a bit. Then I realized that it's been six months since he hatched (well, six months and two weeks), and so I figured I'd take another picture of him, again with a quarter for scale.
He's certainly no trouble. Every week or two I put him in a bowl and then scrub his rocks and rinse out his tank, which isn't hard since it only has about an inch-and-a-half of water in it. And as far as expense, it's negligible -- he's still on his first packet of turtle food, though every two or three weeks I give him a chunk of raw meat about the size of the top knuckle of my little finger. (Hmm ... perhaps that's not a comparison I should share with him, lest it give him ideas.)
As far as sociability, he's no more eager to be my friend than he ever was -- snappers are grumpy, solitary characters by nature and the little ones stay out of sight for the first couple of years of their lives anyway. On the other hand, he's learned that when he sees me moving around, food is likely to happen, so he often comes out of his cave and cranes his neck to see what I'm up to.
This is a little bothersome in terms of my original plan to keep him around until he gets larger and then release him -- he really shouldn't come up to people expecting food once he gets out in the wild. But this interest in food doesn't mean he's ever going to be "friendly" and he'll certainly become more risky to handle the larger he gets.
It is a puzzlement. But he continues to amuse me and I like having him around. When he gets big enough to snip off my fingers, I guess I'll have to sit down and think it all out, but, even at this rate of growth, that's going to be awhile.