My passion for the Testudines species began about 40 years ago. Of course I didn't know it then, but the foundation for TortLife was laid when I was just a kid. My friend's father, who was a Veterinarian, treated a leg issue on a female turtle named Poco. During that time, I got to spend a lot of time with her and we really connected. Then one day, my friend's father asked me if I wanted to keep Poco, and I did. I took her in and absolutely fell in love with her. My interest in turtles was instantly ignited.
Later in life, my attention turned to Tortoises. While Poco was an amazing pet, and honestly the catalyst for what I do now, I knew I wanted a species that lived longer. I began researching Red Foots, Cotinga Red Foots, Cherry Heads, Russians, Elongated Tortoises, Herman's Tortoises, and more. The more I learned about them, the more I knew I wanted to invest in helping and raising tortoises.
If you've ever watched a tortoise, it's definitely a lesson in patience. While everything around us is faced-paced and moving at light speeds, they are not in a rush to do anything. Tortoises remind us to slow down, to set our own pace, and to run (or walk) our own race. It was the balance that I needed in my life.
TortLife truly began as a result of my favorite tortoise of all time, a red-foot named Duncan. She is pictured here with me. It was Duncan that fueled my passion for educating and training others on good husbandry, proper diet, enclosure set up, and everything that it would take to ensure our shelled babies would be well cared for.
As my tortoise family grew, I started working with breeders and even began rehabilitating sick tortoises under veterinarians care, just like my friend's father did with Poco 40 years ago! I now have 28 tortoises in our beautiful TortLife sanctuary, and I vow to continue to give them a great life while educating and training other tortoise owners to do the same!