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Posted by susan412 on April 22, 2003 at 00:46:16:
In Reply to: Re: Box Turtles outdoors in Phoenix? posted by bloomindaedalus on April 16, 2003 at 19:15:21:
I keep 3-toed box turtles in Phoenix. They are in an enclosed
garden which I try to keep heavily planted for shade and bugs.
For shelter, I made them a little bunker with brick sides and
a trash can lid for the roof. On top of the trash can, I put
an insulating layer of dirt and then a massive pile of leaves and
grass clippings. The overall shape of the
structure is moundlike with moderately sloped
sides to discourage boxie nosedives.
I haven't done it yet this year, but in midsummer,
I shade the top of the bunker with one of those lightweight white plastic patio tables
(Yes, it looks a little funky having the table in the garden like that). Last year, I
also put shade cloth over the garden.
Come July, the boxies will get up each morning far earlier than
I do, go for a swim, glare at me, snub their breakfasts, and be
back in bed at 10am, buried in the cool earth inside the bunker.
Water conservation issues aside (we're talking boxie
conservation here), sprinkling the enclosure a couple of
times a day is a great idea.
Do be aware of drainage in the enclosure, however.
I had a terrible experience when I was keeping the boxies
in a kiddy pool on the patio. There were monsoon rains
during the day and the pool was in the exact right spot to
catch runoff from the edge of the roof. I came home
to find my turtles perched on little bits of flotsam
floating in 6 inches of water. They seemed fairly
unconcerned but the experience shaved years off of my life.