News & Features

Ticked off Turtle

By Paul Rosolie

Working in the jungle you come across all kinds of animals in need. The Amazon has been called the ‘greatest natural battlefield on earth’ because literally everything in the ecosystem will be consumed at one point or another. So when we find a bird with a broken wing, or a sloth drowning in the river, we try to lend a hand.

A few weeks back we found a yellow-footed tortoise in the forest that had a bunch of ticks on it. Back at the station Harry and Mohsin and I worked on the little tortoise. First we took the outer ticks off its carapace, then brought out the long forceps. One tick was the size of a dime and deep inside the turtles shell, right on its neck. It took Mohsin a few tries to pull it out and when it came it ripped out some turtle skin with it! We cleaned up the wound and let the turtle go – back out into the forest, parasite free!      I can’t help wondering if the turtle feels all better, like he just took a shower, and is thankful to have all those ticks gone.