MooseWood Nature Center hosted a free rock-painting session Saturday to help raise awareness for their one of their most popular residents.
Shelldon, an 8 year-old snapping turtle, rarely leaves his 150 gallon enclosure.
With such limited space, staff at MooseWood have been working to build Shelldon a much larger 500 gallon enclosure.
But they say they need help raising enough money to cover the cost of materials.
Those in attendance were encouraged to either leave their finished rocks at MooseWood to display or to place them around town to help Shelldon and MooseWood become even more popular.
Kellan Ehrich has been volunteering his time to build the new enclosure. He says once complete, Shelldon's new home will make him happier and may help him live another 30 or 40 years.
"There's going to be a lot more opportunities for enrichment. There’s going to be plants on the water like duckweed and various types of plants that he can eat and play with. There's going to be shallow water, deep water, he can get out. Plus it’s just bigger so he can move around more. There's going to be a waterfall feature on the back and it’s going to be a really nice upgrade for him that's going to last his whole life,” Ehrich announced.
Shelldon eats mostly smelt according to Ehrich. He says staff at MooseWood intend to provide Shelldon a more diverse diet in order extend his longevity even further.
Ehrich says if Shelldon’s living space & diet remain unchanged, he may be lucky to live to his 11th birthday.
“Right now he has sort of a higher fat diet. We'll be moving him to different types of fish, crayfish, worms, roaches, water hyacinth, and duckweed,” Ehrich asserted.
Ehrich says the staff at MooseWood greatly appreciate any donations that might come their way, for this and other projects.
“We run on donations and we use that mostly to keep the lights on and keep the animals fed and to provide programs and so donations are a huge aspect of it,” Ehrich stated.
They’ve made it easy for anyone to support the cause, even if you’re not in the area.
"We have a GoFundMe still up. You can donate because we still need a little bit more money for this. Come in and visit us. You can also become a member. That would be a really good idea," Ehrich beckoned.
Staff at MooseWood Nature Center plan to host an unveiling event in September once the enclosure is finished and ready for Shelldon's big move.
Be sure to give the Moosewood Nature Center’s Facebook page a like so you can stay up to date with other upcoming events.