Other Turtle Discussion :: Moving RES cross-country?!

Non-care related topics here.

Post Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2022 10:06 am   Moving RES cross-country?!

Hi all! I'm a longtime RES parent (used to post on here about 10 years or so ago, back when I was in HS and new to turtles! But I can't find that account for the life of me ).

My husband & I currently reside in NJ and will potentially be making the move to Washington (state) later this year or early next. Because we have two large dogs and two cats (can you tell we're animal lovers? ha ha) and we refuse to board them on a plane, we will be driving cross country to get everyone to our new home.

The dogs are easy and, while the cats pose a few extra challenges, we're absolutely at a loss as to how to transport our RES (Sheldon). He currently resides in a 120 gallon glass aquarium that will be handled by professional movers. Some questions:

- How do we manage the car ride? A small dry enclosure? How can we offer him water to drink along the way? I'm worried about regulating his body temperature, as well.
- Tips on how to handle hotel stops? Assuming we'll have to sneak him in lol. Perhaps bring a 20 gallon / smaller tank that we can fill with water and he can eat for an hour or two? Will he be OK without a basking/UVA/UVB light for 4-5 days? Obviously this will be stressful for him, but he's ~10 years old and in good health otherwise.

Realize this is a bit of a unique situation, so appreciate any & all thoughts! Thanks!
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Post Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2022 4:48 pm   Re: Moving RES cross-country?!

A healthy adult RES is pretty easy to transport. I would use a cardboard box, lined with paper towels, clean rags, or something similar. A lid might help him relax just make sure he doesn't flip over and be mindful when exposed to bright light.

Every few hours, you should change out the lining from the box and have a container for him to re-hydrate and drink... he doesn't need to eat at every stop or even every day. A plastic storage tote, like the ones from IKEA, will be fine and just dump the water after each use. You can use it in the hotel too, feed him in there and let him soak. If not supervised, make sure there is enough water that he can right himself if he flips over.

Air temperatures of 70-80 will be fine. Not basking or having uva/uvb for a few days is OK too. If he is very restless during transport, I would consider putting him in a sock or pillow case where he won't be able to move very much. It should calm him down but do check that he doesn't pee or poop in there as it needs to be breathable.

An infrared temp gun will be real handy in doing instant temperature checks.

Good luck!
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