How long before I can recover the shell of my dead tortoise?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Luc, Apr 2, 2002.

  1. Luc

    Luc Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 1999
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have a leopard tortoise with a beautiful shell. The poor gal died last week and we buried her in our backyard. One day I would like to dig the shell up when it has completely decayed.

    Does any one has any experience with decaying things? I know it all sounds weird but I sure like to recover it as something to remember her by.

    I tried it once when I was about 12. Pet turtle died and I buried it. I dug it up too soon so I reburied it. Months passed by and I forgot where I buried the turtle.

    Anyway, has anyone done this?
     
  2. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2000
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've never done this with a tortoise or turtle. However, I have cleaned skulls.

    Unless you've got the insects that will do the job in a week or so, I'd advise against burial. (And it sounds like you definitely don't have them.) As you found out, you can forget the location of the burial. But you also face the problem of other critters finding it as well as possible water/fungal discoloration of the shell.

    This is going to be gross, but here goes: Place the dearly departed in a stainless steel pan. Ideally, the remains should be cleaned up a bit before you do this, but as this was a pet, even I would be squeamish about that. Cover the DD with cold water. Place pan (which you will never wish to cook in again) in coolish place. Change the water every day. The water will get really nasty (latex gloves are your friend) as bacteria consume the mortal remains of the DD. After a week or so you should be left with a slightly smelly bunch of bones and shell. Place shell in garage for a couple of months for the smell to go away.

    Of course, take this info with the full knowledge I've only ever done this stuff on deer heads.
     
  3. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2000
    Messages:
    5,030
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    what about boiling it?
     
  4. John Miles

    John Miles Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2000
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Microwave. [​IMG]
     
  5. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2000
    Messages:
    4,457
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Foreman's grill~
     
  6. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,654
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Pittsfield, MA
    Real Name:
    Jay
    Deep Fryer!!
    I was going to suggest boiling it, but then that's what I've seen in the movies so we all know that what you see in movies isn't always true [​IMG]
    May I suggest disposable tupperware, rather than waste a pot, unless you have an old one that you're gonna throw away. And hide it from the neighbors and the postal service!
    Jay
     
  7. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2000
    Messages:
    3,813
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Call a taxidermist, man.
     
  8. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 1999
    Messages:
    1,280
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Real Name:
    Jasen
    Have you considered just cutting the flesh from the shell? Sure it's yukky, but it's fast. Or am I just really uninformed about this sort of thing?

    Can anyone tell me how to get rid of human remains, I was just keeping mine in a shed down south but I got a call and I have to do something with 'em right away.

    I have no shame.
     
  9. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2000
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Cutting away flesh is what I meant by "cleaning up" the remains. It might be a bit tough to do to a pet however.

    "Boiling" (simmering, actually) is another option but you must be careful to avoid too much time in the pot. Bones, and probably shells, get brittle very quickly.

    A taxidermist may not want to work on a pet. If they do, expect to pay ~$50 to ~$100. (Just a WAG - I've never seen "clean up tortoise shell" on a price list).
     
  10. Luc

    Luc Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 1999
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ouch!

    Boy, you guys sure know how to clean a dead animal, especially you Julie. You must be a professional at it. However, I can't stomach the cleaning. The shell should bring good memories but instead I might have nightmares of the cleaning process everytime I look at it.

    Anyway, it has been underground since last Thursday so it would gross me out digging it up and seeing the sight. If I leave it for years, would it be cleaned by bacteria, worms, ect? I think the shell will discolour for sure. I buried it in my backyard so I will know its location in a few years.

    What a depressing subject huh?
     
  11. Tom Keels

    Tom Keels Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 1999
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ahh the one good thing about living in the south. FIRE ANTS.

    These jokers will clean anything in 2 days tops. There won't be any shread of meat or tissue left on the shell. I don't suppose you have fire ants in Frisco?
     
  12. Luc

    Luc Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 1999
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Tom,

    Can you send me 1,000? Make sure you include the queen.

    Urrr...on second thought, forget it. They might finish off my alive Tortoises.
     
  13. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 1998
    Messages:
    2,041
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Luc, send the tortoise to Tom, that's much better than getting the ants yourself. Trust me, you don't want those suckers around.
     
  14. Luc

    Luc Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 1999
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Keith, thanks for the tip.

    Tom, will FedX be okay or would you prefer UPS? Thanks a bunch. I owe you.
     
  15. Cam S

    Cam S Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Messages:
    1,524
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    haha, dam this is sick.

    BTW JasenP, I'd be careful about what you say about stuff like that, cuz ya never know who's watching.
     

Share This Page