15 years in a closet - Help give them a better life!

For: Yggdrasil Urban Wildlife Rescue
San Francisco, CA
Organizer: Lila Talcott Travis
$810
of $1,800 goal.
Raised by 12 donors
45% Complete
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The Story

Imagine being a creature that derives your energy and health from the Sun. You roam across vast Desert expanses, soaking up the sun's warmth and grazing on wildflowers and grasses. Now image being that creature and being kept in a tiny wooden box in a dark closet for over 15 years. You either never saw the sun except in the fleeting days of your youth, or you have forgotten the joy of the sun's warmth because it had been so long.

This was the life for 1 California Desert Tortoise, 2 box turtles and 3 Russian tortoises kept at a Nature Center here in the SF Bay Area. For the past 15+ years they had been kept in a closet in tiny, soiled, wooden boxes. They did not receive proper beak or nail maintenance - their beaks were so overgrown that it impeded their ability to eat and their fingernails were so long that they had curled over each other and twisted their fingers into painful clumps. They had very inadequate diets and little to no heat. Most of their lives they spent in the dark and it shows in their current medical condition. One of these tortoises suffers from shell rot because she was unable to get out of her own feces for years.

This all changed on March 24th 2017, when we were asked to come forward to rescue these animals. Since then, they have been living in warmth, basking in real sunlight and foraging dandelion greens and strawberries straight from the soil they have been digging in. They have been taking long warm soaks to clean their soiled skin. They have even begun to feel curiosity again about the world around them.

After a long veterinary exam that included time-intensive shell repair to remove old feces that was causing rot, as well as beak and nail trims, they were declared free of immediate disease or parasites. However, their overall health, muscle-tone, and their strength has been severely compromised by long-term malnutrition, vitamin deficiencies, and lack of sunlight. It took years of this neglect to get them to this state and it will take years for them to recover from it. Some of them can be adopted out to the right people who are willing to take on this level of care. But others need to stay at our rescue center to continue to receive proper medical help for years.

We are reaching out to you because we badly need to upgrade our intensive care habitats and get some supplies to properly care for these guys for years to come and as an all-volunteer grassroots 501c3 nonprofit, we just don't have the money to do this. If you tell your friends, and they tell their friends, and everyone donates $5 we could make this a truly happy beginning for these deserving souls who have been through so much.

In the coming days I will be posting introductions about each of the Tortoises and Box Turtles who would benefit from your kindnesses. Please watch for these updates and thank you for your help.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on May 2, 2017

Posted on May 2, 2017

This female Russian Tortoise spent over 15 years in a small wooden box in the closet. She developed shell rot because she was unable to get out of her own feces for years. Her shell rot was so bad that the Doctors had to chip away large chunks of rotted material to get to the healthy tissue below. Now, we are tentatively calling her "The Racing Tortoise" because she races around the house and garden faster than I have ever seen a tortoise move. Her new favorite pastime is sunning herself on hot days, eating wild greens and cactus fruit, and racing circles around the other tortoises here.

This fund-raiser would benefit her by facilitating the purchase of an intensive care habitat that would help us to continue to reverse the devastating health problems she, and the other turtles and tortoises are suffering due to being kept in such inhumane conditions for so long. Please donate to help her and the others. Thank you for your time.

Posted on April 24, 2017

Posted on April 24, 2017

The majority of the funds requested are for the purchase of 3 Reptile Intensive Care Habitats. These habitats are a bit more than $500 each and we will still need some basic supplies after we purchase these Intensive Care Habitats.

We have created a WishList specific to these needs here: 
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/2VT80TGLP1BI0/ref=cm_wl_list_o_1  

in case you feel more comfortable donating an item instead of contributing towards the purchase costs. Remember all donations are TAX DEDUCTIBLE. Just send me an email at [email protected] with the name of the item you donated and I can send you a receipt for your taxes. And remember to use AmazonSmile to help a nonprofit when you make your purchase. We are listed there as well. 

Thank you!!!

Posted on April 22, 2017

Posted on April 22, 2017

This is "Anthony". He is a California Desert Tortoise - an endangered species. He is 66 years old. He was taken from the wild when he was very young and spent his youth living at Fairyland in Oakland. Later he was moved to a nature center where he lived in a wooden, soiled box in a closet, often in the dark and cold for nearly 2 decades, possibly longer.

Because of this treatment, he has no muscle tone and is very weak and undersized for a 66 year old Tortoise. Lack of sunlight has damaged his immune system and we have started on the path towards recovery by letting him bask in the sun for short periods on hot days. This photo was taken on his first day out in the sunshine. Since then, he has undergone a full veterinary checkup, had his beak trimmed so he can eat better, and we worked with the vet to create a game-plan for his care. This game-plan includes the purchase of an ICU reptile habitat to keep him super warm and well fed so his own immune system will aid in his recovery. Thank you for helping this kind creature.

Anthony is a human name. This beautiful endangered Tortoise does not respond to this name. We are looking for a name that is more appropriate to honor him. Something that expresses the beauty of a desert wildflower with the dignity and preciousness of an endangered species. Please put on your thinking caps and when you make a donation towards the purchase of a Tortoise ICU habitat, please include your name suggestion! Thank you for your support.

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