We’ve had this cute little painted turtle, Crush, for about a year and half now and he’s always been a perfect gentleman. So much so that he refused to partake of the “feeder fish” we put in his tank many months ago. He opted to befriend them instead. He shared his space and even his food with the goldfish and they thrived. They grew to about 4 – 5 inches long. Their large bodies really filled the tank in a most ridiculous way.
Until last Thursday, that is. On Thursday morning we awoke to a most horrific scene. A massacre. Overnight, Crush had attacked and killed 4 of his 5 tank mates. Their mangled bodies lay across the rocks and hung upside down at the water’s surface. Their lifeless eyes stared at us blankly. The filter hummed and choked on fins and fleshy fragments that floated through the murky water.
Kateri, smart, pet-loving 12 year old that she is, knew better than to involve her mother in this clean up. She and her brothers handled the mess on their own. Within a couple of hours, there were four new carcasses in a makeshift pet cemetery we keep in the woods adjacent to our house and the turtle tank was clean and clear of fishy debris.
So was this a reptile midlife crisis? Was our dear Crush fattening his friends for the kill from the very beginning? We might never know. He’s keeping quiet about the whole deal. For now he seems content to sun himself on the rocks, eat ReptoMin, and share his tank with one remaining goldfish. Who is looking pretty nervous.