Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Grumpy Gordon

A BAD tempered turtle has been named Grumpy Gordy and moved into solitary confinement, after bullying other aquatic lifeforms at Scotland's largest sanctuary for marine animals.

Staff at the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary near Oban had to isolate their new Snapper Turtle for bullying behaviour almost as soon as he arrived there on Monday so immediately named him after Gordon Brown, according to centre spokeswoman Ellie Cowley.

Ms Cowley said: "Bullies are said to have a hard outer shell, and the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary's newest resident is no exception.

"Grumpy Gordy was immediately confined to the 'naughty' tank after his snapping tantrums shocked Sea Life staff into deciding he would be a danger to the other turtles."
Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary Manager Alex Blackman said: "We had to confine Gordy to his own tank. Snapper Turtles have a razor sharp beak which could easily take off a finger, so he could really have done his tank-mates some damage.
"Staff helping to move him had to go and get extra thick gloves to move him into his tank, and started calling him Grumpy Gordy after Gordon Brown as a joke and the name has stuck.

" I don't think it helps that, as a more mature Snapper Turtle, Gordy has quite a jowly chin and a grumpy face."

Gordy was moved to the Oban sanctuary to ease an overcrowding problem at a turtle sanctuary in Scarborough.

Mr Blackman added: "With a shell spanning 17 inches square Gordy is a hefty size for a Common Snapper Turtle. He weighs more than 30lbs so is a force to be reckoned with."
Living up to 40 years and growing up to 40lbs, the Snapper Turtle is the largest species of Freshwater Turtle to be found in the United States.

Whereas the Snapper Turtle's gentler cousins retreat into their shells when in danger, the 'dinosauresque' Snapper is an aggressive fighter with exceptionally sharp claws and beak, and will strike out at animals that threaten it in a similar fashion to snakes.

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