Dear Members and Friends: Our Spring meeting will be held on Saturday, April 28 in the park by the Gazebo next to the Belle Cooledge Library, 5600 South Land Park Drive, 95822
from 2-5 pm
. Feel free to bring your pets and a folding chair in case there is nowhere to sit in the park. In case it is raining, we'll just have it the following Saturday if that is ok with everyone? I've run out of ideas since nobody wants to have any night meetings. Meeting outdoors is great because we can bring our pets and show them off and if anyone wants to give a little talk about their pet, that will be wonderful!! Looking forward to seeing many of you there. There won't be any cake to celebrate our 37th anniversary but I will bring some sodas, ice and chips, etc.

I hope your winter months went by smoothly without any casualties and I'm sure some are still in hibernation as I am writing this newsletter. Most of the Bunker residents are awake now and it is good to see them again. I do hope all of yours woke up and are healthy and hungry and ready for a good long summer of enjoying their lives and us enjoying them!

You'll notice the flyer for our 2018 TURTLERAMA on June 2nd this year. I am hoping the temperature will not soar to 104 or 106 in June as it has been doing in August. PLEASE let me know if you will be able to bring some of your pets to show off to the visitors to the event. Please email or phone me or let me know at the meeting if you can participate. We need displays and definitely need helpers for setting up and breaking down displays altho we don't have that many displays thanks to the library shutting us out. Tracey and Steve will be bringing their fully grown Sulcata, Ben, to the show because it is very important to show people in person how large these tortoises grow. You might want to bring photos of the environments in your own back yards to show people the correct way to house their pets. There will be plenty to talk about at our meeting on April 28. Your ideas will be greatly appreciated and put to good use.




I decided to delete what I had first written here because I am sure you are tired of hearing about rats and raccoons visiting The Bunker and doing a lot of damage. We'll talk about the fun stuff instead:
There are plenty of visitors to the Bunker. They arrive quite often and enjoy seeing so many different turtles and tortoises. There are incredible amounts of emails coming in as you can imagine. Keeps me busy trying to answer everyone's questions as best I can. Remember, this is a hotel, hospital, hospice, orphanage all for turtles and tortoises. The visitors are amazed at the number of creatures living here and fairly peacefully too. I place the naughty aggressive ones into their own 'prison' area (sadly, some do manage to climb out and terrorize the others before I see or hear them.....and run out to put them back. If they continue this behavior, they go into the greenhouse which is pretty nice!)

The ones living in isolation are really not 'naughty', they are just doing their thing which is to mate as often as possible and as aggressively as possible I might add. Even if the females are willing, the males persist in shoving them, biting them and even sometimes dumping them upside down which is not very nice. Many of the females, however, seem to enjoy the chase and often stop running and turn around to make sure the male is still there and often encourage this behavior. I leave everyone alone unless they start biting and causing harm to one another. Box turtles are usually guilty of biting and not letting go. Sometimes the Gulf Coast box turtles may drown their mate.......Be Alert!
The Chinese or Asian box turtles can do a lot of harm biting the back of the neck of the females so be aware of that. Check the females from time to time. You don't want any maggot infestations. They will often pull their heads in so you won't see the wounds.

The Hermann's tortoises seem to be the most aggressive. They are relentless in their pursuit. They never seem to tire of the 'game'. And it can be very annoying to watch this behavior. But if you watch closely, the females do not seem to mind at all. The Greek tortoises are not quite so bad. The Russians try but they seem to prefer to fight with other males than do anything else. I don't see this behavior in the larger tortoises like the Leopards and Desert tortoises. (I don't have any Sulcatas so I can't report on them). But the larger species seem not to be so violent with the females and will often 'shove' them around but not dump them upside down, but sometimes accidents happen, and then someone will post a video playing soft 'friends' music as one tortoise tries to upright the other. Of course, most people don't realize that the male did this in the first place and is trying to fix things so he can continue this behavior. Those of us who 'know', are very amused by these videos and the public's response to them.

Enjoy your pets and their lifestyle. You are all doing a wonderful job caring for them.


For Sale: Randy will have some spotted hatchlings for sale at our meeting if anyone is interested.