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Box turtles and Chinaberries?


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#1 RadiantSeaRodent

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:13 PM

Hi! I finally got around to building a huge outdoor enclosure for my box turtles and released them this morning. My ornate male immediately began to chomp down on some fallen chinaberries from my next-door neighbors trees. Is this safe for him? We live in central Texas west of Austin.

Thanks!

#2 BoxTurtleLover

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 04:03 AM

Chinaberries are toxic to animals - see this link:

http://www.pawsdogda...-Berry-Tree.htm

To check on any plant, berry, bush or tree as to it being toxic for humans or pets, just type the name of the bush, tree or berry in a search engine along with the word "toxic." You will find out all you need to know. I would block your turtles off from that area since they are enclosed in that area and will have a constant source of a toxic berry and I would contact your vet for further instructions.

#3 RadiantSeaRodent

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 07:18 PM

My turtles see perfectly normal. I have, of course, searched out every last chinaberry I could find and removed it. I'll put up some finer mesh over the top to mostly catch any more falling berries.

I did call two of the supposedly best reptile and exotic vets in my area and spoke with their staff. Both of the office staffers I spoke to were not sure and told me that the doctor would call me back. I know doctors have very busy schedules but its been four business days and no calls; I was hopeful that at least a staff person could get back to me. I did talk to the person who runs Austin Wildlife Rescue (who advised me how to build my enclosure) and he told me not to worry about it.

#4 BoxTurtleLover

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 04:00 AM

I would play it safe and ensure the berries do not get in the pen for them to eat. Since this is only recent, constant exposure could create a buildup of anything toxic to a turtle or any animal. As always, you will get various answers and opinions from different people - the best thing to do is to thoroughly research the plant and berries and if there is any chance of it being toxic, keep it away from your turtles.

#5 RadiantSeaRodent

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 07:04 AM

Thanks for the advice. I agree completely. Unfortunately, that was the best place to put the turtles, and also had the least amount of chinaberry trees around. Its in an area next to my chicken run where I have been turning my compost heaps for the past three years so the soil is deep, rich and full of bugs, worms, and grubs. They have been very happily rummaging around in the leaf litter looking for tidbits.




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