Box Turtle
Box Turtle: Photo courtesy of the California Turtle & Tortoise Club (CTTC): Valley Chapter

August 10, 2020
Due to COVID-19, CTTC - Valley
Cancels 2020 Turtle & Tortoise Show
Due to COVID-19, CTTC - Valley
Cancels 2020 Turtle & Tortoise Show
Due to COVID-19, CTTC - Valley
Cancels 2020 Turtle & Tortoise Show

Due to the COVID-19 world pandemic, the 2020 Turtle & Tortoise Show sponsored by the Valley Chapter of the California Turtle & Tortoise Club had already been postponed from May to September. But then, on July 31, 2020, the chapter released the following statement:

For a variety of reasons that involve not following established health safety practices, in addition to accelerated public testing, there has been a substantial increase in the number of Covid-19 cases and subsequent hospitalizations in LA County. Local and state leaders have re-imposed lockdowns on various businesses, and restrictions on social activities, in an effort to again slow down the spread of the virus.

We cancelled the show in May, and had hopes for things to be more normal by September. After careful consideration, we have made the decision to cancel the show for this year, and look forward to next year. We will all miss the camaraderie of the show, working together to achieve our goals of education, increased awareness of conservation needs here and around the world, to promote our adoption program, and raise money for the "sick and injured" fund. But your safety, and that of the public, is the first and foremost concern of the show team and the Valley board.

The annual show is the chapter's major source of income each year with most of those funds being used to help rehabilitate the sick and injured rescues that they take in. A few of these were featured in the Gallery but more come in all the time. The Valley Chapter is a recipient of smuggled or illegally kept turtles and tortoises picked up in raids carried out by California game wardens. The CTTC adoption team also regularly goes to all the San Fernando Valley's animal shelters and claims all unregistered desert tortoises (a protected species in the state of California). Additionally, though, they have been known to pick up other species of turtles or tortoises that the shelters cannot adopt out due to severe injury or illness. This was the case with Leo, a leopard tortoise whose story and slide show also appear in the Gallery. Healthy tortoises are registered (if required by law) and adopted out to new homes. The sick and the injured, though, are treated and rehabilitated before adoption can take place.

One of the most common conditions found in rescued tortoises are bladder stones. In pet tortoises, bladder stones come from years of being fed improper diets coupled with not enough water to flush impurities from the system. These stones are surprisingly large considering the size of the tortoise. See Stonewall's slideshow for an image of the stone that he had. It measured more than 4 inches, end to end, and weighed 13.7 ounces. Considering that 16 ounces = 1 pound and that Stonewall himself weighed less than 20 lbs, it's amazing that he could have been carrying such a thing around inside him. Given the same ratio, it would be like a person ‐ wearing skin-tight armour with no room for body expansion ‐ walking around with a bowling ball stuck inside him. Over time, stones can cause nerve damage and hind-leg paralysis. They can make it impossible for female tortoises to lay their eggs — such eggs remain stuck inside them permanently unless they are surgically removed. As long as they are present, bladder stones can continue to grow. Thay can also, eventually be the cause of death. At the time of this writing, the Valley Chapter has seven rescued tortoises in need of bladder stone surgery. Such surgeries generally cost upwards of $1,000.00 apiece.

But, of course, bladder stones are just one condition. Visit the Gallery and you'll see many more including tortoises with amputated limbs, nerve damage, wounds caused by dog attacks and much more. Keep in mind, too, that many more tortoises have come in since the gallery was created. The adoption team has been overwhelmed in recent times with sick and injured rescues. They haven't had the time to take more photos or write up the stories of the chapter's newest tortoises. But these tortoises are here. And they need help.

This is the reason that the income from the show each year is so crucial. Without it, surgeries will have to wait and, unfortunately, some surgeries simply can't wait.

Please help if you can. You could take the Sofa Cushion Challenge so that your finances aren't impacted in any way and yet the tortoises still get the help they need. You could donate a dollar using the Valley Chapter's PayPal Giving Fund and then ask all your friends to also donate a dollar and then ask their friends to do the same. You could donate more than a dollar of course. Or you might consider becoming a member so that you could participate in the chapter's monthly zoom meetings from anywhere in the world and receive the CTTC's bi-monthly newsletter, The Tortuga Gazette via e-mail. Please see the About Donations page for more ideas.

And please keep in mind this one, important truth. We can do together what we can't do apart!

Thank you!

And please, stay safe!

You Might Also Like You Might Also Like You Might Also Like

The ScC Explained

CTTC Saving Tortoises

CTTC Valley's Show 2019