Irene Leung and Ronnie, residents of Sai Wan, are mothers to 2 gorgeous turtles: A 6-year-old ivory coloured girl named Gum Gum who came to their family thanks to 香港兩棲及爬蟲協會 - 動物領養區 HK Herp - Animal Adoption. And another 5 year old dark brown turtle girl named Cash from South Africa.
The two girls have their distinct personalities. Gum Gum is outgoing but cool, lofty, brave (likes cliff jumping haha) while Cash is active & animated, curious about everything especially food.
Gum Gum has been with us since she was a baby. Cash is an addition from another family & has been a best friend to Gum Gum and a member of our family for over 4 years.
Both the girls like to take a walk when it is sunny not only because they love the sun but also because they need the sunshine for their shell healthy.
Here is a video :) See how fast Gum Gum can walk !
They are big foodies and also love to sleep during the day. They love eating leaves (potato leaves, mulberry tree leaves, different kinds of Chinese herbs) and Gum Gum enjoys a shell massage before sleep. Gum Gum & Cash behave like many other pets such as dogs & cats.
Their vet is a famous reptiles’ veterinary surgeon in To Kwa an, Kowloon, Doctor Terry Yu. Irene narrates that in 2017 Gum Gum had burned her hand with boiling water. Thankfully, Irene and Ronnie went to see Dr. Yu who provided good recommendations in how to take care of her & comfort our anxiety.
When Irene have a long holiday, luckily Cash’s former parents will take care of them.
In Chinese, turtles are mates coz their life span is long for over 80 years. They are clever & can read your verbal & non-verbal expression/body language. They feel the care & love given to them and will listen to your words and feelings.
Once, Cash have bed-wetted (with faeces) all over the sitting room floor. She hid herself, burying her head and pretended to sleep in the corner of the house overnight. We encouraged her to react but she showed passive. We figured she felt guilty and afraid that we would scold her. So finally, we kissed her (with nose to nose) and comforted her with leaves and told her it doesn’t matter. She showed “as if relieved from a burden” and walk & walk as usual in the house.
For all the Wannabe Turtle parents, Irene & Ronnie suggest you to have a minimum of patience & basic knowledge about how to raise them, the optimal temperature & humidity, the hiding place which are equipped with UV light, the choice of feed, etc.
Finally, they would also like to remind them to adopt them rather than buy as HK has so many owners who don’t know how to take good care of them and abandon them.
P.S. HK Herp - Animal Adoption