Thursday, 11 June 2009

Soft Shell Turtle.

I am never a turtle kind of person, tortoise absolutely yes but turtles and terrapins, I doubt it. But then again, when I was a kid, amongst the very first pets which mom and dad got for me are red ear slider terrapins. Most would outgrew the 1 foot glass tank aquarium and eventually would be “released” into rivers or Buddhist temples, a practise of which I eventually learnt are not quite right from the environmental conservation point of view. One particularly memorable incident was when I accidentally forgot about putting them back into the tank after I washed it. One escaped and I totally forgotten about it. It would be nearly six months later that I found it lodged in between the bed post, and still alive. I would fed them local kangkung and occasionally some prawn bits. I remembered my mom told me that all turtles eat kangkung. I suspected that is because in temples, they feed those turtles kangkung aplenty. This is not right of course, as kangkung lack the nutritional need of a turtle and is highly addictive. Just like Coke. Another early encounter with turtles were back in Teluk Intan, where during high tide, the river would sometimes carried baby box river turtles (which are black with yellow lines along their ears) into the backyard. My aunt would collect and put them in a self made area with zinc sheets as barrier. Sometimes I saw her feeding them discarded rice! I also remembered that my neighbour at that time, which was in Ipoh, had plenty of fishes like arowanas, oscars, and goldfishes. They loved to go around used mining pools as well as ornamental fish wholesalers to get those fishes. They would bring me along but I hated going to used mining pools, especially those which had been discarded for long. It is creepy and I always heard stories about those underwater ghosts haunting the pools, and supposedly will pull and drown you for sacrifice. Anyway, my neighbour got a soft shelled turtle one fine day and it looked exactly like the one I got couple of days back from a wholesaler in Sungai Buloh. I am not sure the exact specie name but once in a while, though not as common as red ear slider, I would have come across one in those local fish shops. I thought of giving it shot at raising it in proper and see how it goes.

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