My pet turtle bit my other pet turtle
I noticed that my female red eared slider, Cinderella, was looking a little bit bigger since I last measured my turtles size about three weeks ago. And so I picked both my turtles up and compared them side by side like so:
This is a painted rendition (through Paint.net) of two different older pictures. I didn’t actually take any photos of the incident.
So anyway, I held my turtles up plastron to plastron (or bottom/belly shell to bottom/belly shell) and noticed that Cinderella had indeed grown and that she was now a little bit bigger. Very quickly, she stretched her whole neck and angled her head downward, kinda like so:
…and she delivered a very quick bite to the face of poor Rex. She bit his face!! I was so shocked.
I immediately got flashbacks of how she had been mean to him in the past:
- While Rex would bask, she would purposefully go to him and push him off the platform
- While Rex would do anything peacefully, she’d come over and push him
- She’d go up to him, only to swim away and kick him in the face
- Many, many attempts to bite him his legs, tail, and face
Rex managed to get even by eating more food at feeding time – which I thwarted by feeding my turtles separately.
After noticing that almost every time I watched them there was at least one bite attempt, I decided it was time to keep the pet turtles separated for good before one of them lost a tail or otherwise drew blood. I can see that there is no chance that I’m going to ever keep the turtles together in the future.
Rex’s chin/throat area was a light pink from the bite. I put them both down and gave Rex some treats (freeze dried crickets!!). He was very scared to eat them by hand, which is how I usually give them, so I left them on the water for him to eat.
Rex is fine now and is swimming around like a happy turtle.
Now his throat/chin area is slightly pink, with a tuft of loose skin (looks like shedding) right over the spot. It looks like he has a goatee!!
Here are some pictures of Rex several hours after he got bit on the face by Cinderella, my female red eared slider. Please note that it is very difficult to take accurate looking photos. Without the flash, the photos are too dark and blurry. With the flash, everything looks brighter and whiter so you can’t see the pinkness or the bunch of loose skin on his throat area that looks like a goatee. This means that the bite area/pink area and loose skin on the throat look a lot less in terms of both color and quantity – and you almost can’t see them. Because the flash drowns out the details, I added arrows to each picture to help identify the pink areas/ loose skin goatee.
(you can see some later and better photos here: pet red ear slider turtle’s bite mark)
And that’s why I continue to keep them separated.