Sadly Shirley Has Snapped


It turns out we have a cold-blooded killer living at our house.

Shirley our turtle has snapped.  It’s a curious thing, she has lived harmoniously with two goldfish in her tank for the last four years.  We originally bought about 15 goldfish for her to snack on, but she left two of them alone. They became quite large, probably about 3-4 inches in length.  It was definitely a love-hate relationship with those three.  Shirley would snap at the fishes’ tails once in a while, I suppose to remind them who was boss in the tank.  Shirley would get a little miffed when they forgot their station in the hierarchy of the tank, trying to take food before she had her fill, but aside from those infrequent tussles they seemed to get along.

On Sunday, my husband and I were just walking into Whole Foods (or as we like to call it – Whole Paycheck) and we received a frantic telephone call from our youngest son (who likes to say Shirley is his, but only in location – her tank is in his room.  I provide all upkeep).  He said Shirley had gone nuts overnight and attacked both fish, disembowelled them and left them for dead.  We rushed home to find a scene of total carnage in her tank.  It was truly awful.

What would make a turtle do such a thing after 4 years?  It is very puzzling and concerning.  It makes me think you don’t ever really know what turtles are capable of doing.

There have been heated debates at our house as to why she would do such a thing.  My one son says it is a cry for help, the other says Shirley needs a friend, and a bigger tank.  My husband just thinks she is crazy.  I tend to think something pushed her over the edge, but I may never surely determine what the triggering event was.

2 replies »

    • That is very true. I believe Shirley just felt like the fish were getting to big for their britches and decided to set them straight.

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