A Gift To Last

Looking for something special for that someone special? Well, look over here, because we have a gift idea for you!

Say, “I love you for a lifetime” with a tortoise present. Look at this satisfied customer.

Is your sweetie picky? Need something more aquatic? No problem! Turtles are long-lived water lovers.

Brought to you by the Turtle and Tortoise Council, Ant and Keith M.


  1. Mary (the first) says:

    I didn’t really know the little ones got quite so big! yikes! But very cute!!

  2. It depends on the species, Mary. Some get that big, some get bigger, some stay at a manageable 8 to 15 inches… All cute, though.

  3. The last one is a terrapin, it will only get to the size of a cheeseburger.

  4. Bunny ears on tinytortieyay!

  5. Laura Bauer says:

    Wow, she must have taken reeeeeeally good care of that tortoise!

  6. [mouth hanging open]

  7. [ditto]
    I had no idea pet tortoises could get that big! Does she take it for walks? Let it roam freely around the house?

  8. that tortoise is no where near done growing….ask me how I know!

  9. Okay…..how do you know?

  10. She must really, really love her tortoise! Good on her for having such a kind heart.

  11. Amen to that.

  12. Last pic: “Madam, I disapprove of you using me as a gift box ribbon.”

  13. victoreia says:

    Either that, or he’s allergic to ribbons. (He reminds me of Morla the Ancient One from The Neverending Story.)

  14. noellesbootcutkittenpants says:

    “Not that it matters…but yes.”

  15. Tortoiseshell is always fashionable. Especiall when its au naturel.

  16. Legotech says:

    Absolutely! He’s NOT a happy camper there :)

  17. Now, that’s being love and a responsible caregiver for that turtle. Congratulation to this young lady, this is a show of good will, kind heart and nice biceps.

  18. Synesthesia says:

    TORTOISE! (been watching too much MLP FIM)

  19. We’re gonna need a bigger pond.

  20. Will you settle for bigger bunny ears? Although there’s a couple “tortoise and the hare” jokes there.

  21. Fird Birfle says:


  22. When I saw this post, I could see the first picture and only the top half of the second. I was immediately struck by the resemblance of little girl and who I presumed to be her mother. When I scrolled down and saw the bottom half for about 10 seconds I couldn’t figure out what the picture really represented. Then it hit me and I was like “woah!” and then I was like “dude!”.

  23. Fird Birfle says:

    “like, TOtally, dude!!!”

  24. metsakins says:

    Sweet, but where is our vehicle?

  25. Victoria, Mom to 5 Rats says:

    Definitely an awesome job of taking care of the tort. Props to her for that. It looks nice and healthy and has very minimal pyramiding on the shell. You don’t see that very often.

  26. Sulcata! That’s a sulcata! And in the second pic, that’s only about half as big as it will get. A good friend of mine has a 100 pounder. They are brilliant animals and wonderful pets. And they have a powerful, all encompasing love for all things watermelon.

  27. Wow! I bet she won’t be able to hold it quite so easily when it’s full grown…

    I second FB’s enjoyment of the term “love for all things watermelon.”

  28. noellesbootcutkittenpants says:

    When it gets even bigger, she can train it to balance a tray and circulate among guests and offer them hors d’ouevres. :)

    Seriously, beautiful animal and sweet story being told by these pictures.

  29. Fird Birfle says:

    “love for all things watermelon” HAW

  30. I saw a photo of an adult Galapogos tortoise standing next to a baby of the same species. The baby didn’t even reach up to the grown-up’s ankle and was only about as big around as the adult’s foot.

  31. Fird Birfle says:

    per the following page/ san diego zoo

    Adult life span: more than 150 years on record
    Size lists a male as potentially 4 feet by 6 feet
    Weight up to 573 lbs listed on the webpage

  32. Ours is pretty big! He even comes when my dad calls for him!

  33. OMG. Haha! I was just about to write that beautiful little girl looks a lot like that woman when I went back and read the post. Awesome! I am so jealous too! Ever since I saw “The China Syndrome” with Jane Fonda and her pet tortoise I’ve wanted my very own. Maybe one day! Sigh. Thanks for this post. :D

  34. And this is why my mom won’t let me get a turtle.

  35. snarfblat says:

    I don’t mean to be a buzzkill here, and I realize that the text of this post is written in good fun, etc., but please, please don’t give turtles as gifts. In fact, don’t give any animals as gifts to people who aren’t prepared to take on the responsibility of having a pet. I too have a turtle, and have had her for over 20 years. But I also have come across many people who’ve given me the “oh yeah, turtles! I used to have one when I was little!” story, following it up with how the turtle died or was “released into the local pond” or whatever shortly thereafter. Turtles live a good 25-40 years (or more), so unless the receiver is prepared to take on a pet for that long, they should not be given as gifts. Again, sorry to be a killjoy. Kudos to the owner of that kickass turtle though!

  36. Or even like 100 years or more. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a few Galapagos tortoises who had personally met Charles Darwin.

  37. rachelofcyberia says:

    …and rolled their eyes at his obvious theories.

  38. Meaghan, meet Harriet:
    Though she sadly passed away a couple of years ago. AND she was only the THIRD oldest tortoise known! The oldest being 255-year-old Adwaita in India. To quote Stephen Fry on QI, “He was born before Mozart, before the French revolution, and his death was announced on CNN”.

  39. Fird Birfle says:

    “Stephen Fry” = *sigh*

    (he’s in my Stable of Virtual Spouses — ck with Theresa,
    on the exact tradename of that phrase. I can never remember the actual phrasing.)

  40. Victoria, Mom to 5 Rats says:

    Yeah, not trying to be a buzzkill, Firfie, just letting you know. I actually only found out very recently when I read an excerpt from one of his autobiograpies. As for my interest in him, I just love anything and everything to do with Blackadder.

  41. Victoria, Mom to 5 Rats says:

    Sorry Fird, but unless you’re one of the few men of C.O., I’m afraid Stephen Fry will always remain a virtual spouse and never an actual one. Though he is awesome. “As private parts to the gods are we, they play with us for their sport!”

  42. Would still love to see him and Hugh Laurie do Sherlock Holmes. Could realistically see both in either role.

  43. I believe Stephen Fry plays for the other team.

  44. Fird Birfle says:

    man, y’all ARE TRULY killin’ ma buzz.
    But I suppose I should assume the best and appreciate your informative intent!!!

    I didn’t state that he was obligated to perform se*ual acts of intimacy wit’ me !!!

    When my crush on him began, was in the film Peter’s Friends
    (many many moons ago) when part of his dialogue included something to the effect of “I’m not in the ….baby-making business….” with a wry facial expression.

    And I STILL LURVE him, with INFINITELY more pashon than I cud EVER work up, for the likes of *shudder* a *belch* Bruce Willis or a
    Tom Cruise. *double shudder*

    ps: incorrect spellingks are intentional to my oeuvre.

    Or, alternatively, you might imagine that I was raised to use grammar and spelling at the ne plus ultra level, pour tout ma vie and now I’m a bit ornery and contrary ’bout ’em :) Either way, works fir me….

    But the first theory SOUNDS a bit more elegant ….

  45. Oh yes, Mr Fry is part of my Stable Of Virtual Spouses (TM) as well, and I’d have to say the fact that he plays for the other team is hardly the most significant reason he will never join my Stable Of Real-Life Spouses (TM) :D

  46. Fird Birfle says:

    I wasn’t ackshually alarmed; I was jist playin’ with folks. No harm intended …

  47. Visitor says:

    Snarfblat, that’s a good and necessary post, even if it does bring down the mood a li’l bit. It is always important to remind people that acquiring an animal, and especially a very long-lived animal, is a very important decision. Animals should never be given as unasked-for or unrequested gifts.

  48. WOW 8O

  49. murkle46 says:

    Results may vary

  50. Mary (the first) says:

    Does anyone know how old the tortoise is in the second photo? Girl looks only a few years older so it’s hard to tell.

  51. I think it’s been a long time. The first photo looks like a child, and the second like an adult. Plus I don’t think tortoises grow very fast.

  52. Think the hovertext on the hoverturtle in the last frame should have been ‘nnNNNEEEARRRMmm!’

  53. It’s all one image, but totally.

  54. Back when “Emergency Vets” was on Animal Planet, a gentleman brought in a turtle he had owned for 30 years. Dr. Fitzgerald made a point of asking him if he had made provisions for future turtle care in his will. (he had)

  55. whawhawhatsis says:

    So true. I used to work with a guy who had a desert tortoise (that had become a protected species many years after he and his family had adopted it) that he’d had for 25 or 30 years already; it was registered and he was allowed to keep it because he took such good care of it. And yes, he’d made provisions for which of his grandchildren would inherit the tortoise. He’d even made sure it had its own burrow in the yard for when it semi-hibernated each winter. It was (and I’m sure still is!) a marvelous creature!

  56. Wrong or right the whole hibernation thing is what scared me off from owning a tortoise. I saw a show on Animal Planet (I think) that showed how owners had to put their tortoises in the fridge for hibernation. It freaked me out! They said a tortoise could survive and be okay with not being in the fridge, but to do so was optimum for their well-being. And who wouldn’t want to do everything possible to insure their pet’s optimum health and happiness? Anyhow I could not get over the creeps of sticking my pet in the fridge. It’s so dumb and I wish I were a stronger person. Boo!

  57. Hahah, yes I had an ex whose tortose, Shellerby, would go in the fridge in a brown paper bag marked, “SHELLERBY – DO NOT EAT”

  58. Fird Birfle says:


  59. My mom and her twin brother “adopted” a couple of turtles from the creek behind their house (they lived in B.F.E., Wisconsin). Uncle named his turtle Oscar and Mom named hers Esmeralda. Pretty good names for a couple of six-year-olds, IMHO.

  60. Did they ply them with treats galore? Hope so!

  61. tortoises live a VERY long time, as do parrots. Another good human story. CO – I approve heartily of Good Human, no sad parts stories like this one and Roosevelt from yesterday. Good on her for taking care of tortie for so long.

  62. The beribboned turtle reminds me of one of the Halloween “pet costume” posts where a turtle (the aquatic kind) was disguised as a shark with a fin rubber-banded around its middle. I thought it was hilarious.

    Several years ago my boyfriend and I picked up a turtle en route to my parents’ lake house, cause it was right in the middle of the road and would soon have been flattened by other cars. We didn’t just set it by the side of the road because we feared it would crawl out in the middle again. Michael held it while I drove. It was very unhappy to be picked up; it scowled at us and flailed its legs (it had shovel-shaped feet and long, side-curved claws) for awhile before retreating into its shell. It was about as big around as a football. During our brief time with it, for some reason we named it Buckminster and called it Bucky; it just seemed to fit.

    Once we arrived at my parents’ island about a mile or so away, we released the turtle on the shore and it immediately plopped into the lake and disappeared into the deep. (Which is why we knew it was a turtle, not a tortoise.) My dad, who being a biologist knows a little about reptiles, thinks it was a painted turtle but didn’t know for sure — his specialty is botany, not zoology. We imagined it going home to tell its family “You wouldn’t believe the day I had, I was kidnapped and wound up so far away from home.”

  63. Are you sure it wasn’t a snapper? Painted turtles usually aren’t that feisty.

  64. No idea. Michael and I don’t know anything about turtles. It didn’t try to bite anyone, for what it’s worth.

  65. I think a snapper would’ve been feistier. Scowling and leg-flailing…not really all that aggressive.

  66. I’m reminded of that cautionary children’s tale, A Fish out of Water


  67. Esio trot! Esio trot! Teg reggib reggib!

  68. EXCELLENT! Roald Dahl reference ftw!

  69. Thank you! *preens* The man seriously rocks….and t’was a really sweet story too :)

  70. I loved him till I found out he was a racist anti-Semite.

  71. oh no, really?! was patricia o’neill the same?

  72. Brown Suga' says:

    Ok, I totally d’awwwwwwwwwwwed. Kudos to this kind (and obviously very fit) human for taking such good care of her giant buddy!
    I’d always felt that peeps with Chelonian friends have the advantage of not having to see off their pet to the Rainbow bridge while they’re living. (I’d limit myself to just fostering puppehs or kittehs – I can’t bring myself to keep them permanently because I can’t bear to see them go.)

  73. Cutest avatar ever!

  74. An old (and obviously false) saying states that if you pick up a calf every day of its life, starting when it’s newborn, then you’ll still be able to pick it up when it’s a full grown cow. Seems reasonable — each day it only weighs a tiny bit more than the day before, so why should it suddenly be impossible to lift? But eventually all those ounces add up. So it will be with that tortoise — and based on the second photo, I’m surprised it isn’t already there.

    As for Charles Darwin, a tortoise named Harriet died in 2006 that supposedly was collected as a specimen by Darwin in 1835 (the age seems to have been accepted but the connection to Darwin was disputed). A tortoise collected by Captain Cook in 1777 lived until 1965 with the Tongan royal family. So, yes, those are animals whose care should be arranged in one’s will.

  75. not that long ago, a friend was telling me about an acquaintance of his who had a tortoise (or turtle, whichever lives forever) that was a family heirloom. I LOVED the idea of heirloom tortoises, and still do.

  76. Mamabear says:

    This is just about the sweetest post I’ve seen here at CO. The idea of these best friends growing up together and sharing life’s joys and sadnesses just makes me a little verklempt. I can just see him/her being like Grandmother Willow and tending this woman’s kids and then grandkids, helping raise them and telling them tales of their kin.

    Just a big ol’ cherished, kind and benevolent tortoise offering wise advice on life and love and being a shell to cry on during their middle school years… I lof eet!

  77. A shell to cry on…lol.

  78. The vet who cares for my dogs was willed a parrot from a former client who passed away. The vet’s website lists the parrot as an office staff member and gives her profile including how she came to “work” there and how long she’s likely to live. She is a beautiful bird and hangs out behind the main desk out front, greeting folks when they come in. (My pups’ annual exam is this weekend and I can’t wait to see the bird!)

  79. Fird Birfle says:

    YAY vet, former person and parrot !!!

    *pompoms in gear*

  80. LisaLassie says:

    Wondering what kind of animal the “former person” is now and how change was achieved.

  81. Fird Birfle says:

    Proofreading/ self-editing FAIL



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