Training a Terrapin
It may sound impossible, but a terrapin can actually be trained to respond.
For this, your terrapin needs to be living in clean, healthy, and happy environs, almost equivalent to their natural habitat, and you should have loads of patience.
Terrapins are intelligent and fast learners. They are even compared to the laboratory rats by the scientists. But sometimes they repeatedly try to climb over a bigger object when could easily have gone around it.
They possess well-developed sense of location and in an enclosure also, they normally pick out a place for resting.
Since they are hard of hearing, terrapins naturally respond to low pitch or low frequency sounds ranging between 20 to 1,000 cycles per second and do readily respond to any vibration of the substratum.
If a low toned music is played with simultaneous rewarding of a tasty tidbit, they could be trained to respond to the music. Their minds can be kept active by feeding them live fishes. These creatures tend to seek hiding places in the terrapinarium, thus arousing the natural hunting instincts of the terrapin.
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Though terrapins are sans teeth, they do have jagged-edged strong jaws with which they can bite. So, one needs to be very careful while training them.
A terrapin may be made to get used to your hand touch if you feed it regularly with its favorite food. To put it simply, hold the food to the edge of the water, keeping your hands still; the terrapin will sniff at the food along with your hand and relate to both of them simultaneously, and will take the food when it is ready.
As time goes by, it will link your arrival with expectation of tasty food. They do not eat in the dark or in the cold. If sunlight is not available in an indoor terrapinarium, UV lamps can be provided to create the necessary heat. With time it responds to your voice also.
It likes to have a small, easy to climb island of an old, clean brick or a flat piece of stone to come out of the water occasionally for drying. A Terrapin needs hibernation for the health and any visible changes in its appearance or behavior can help one to ascertain about an illnesses.
For example, if the terrapin keeps on moping around or just trying to hide itself, it may indicate its unhappiness with the stale water.
Terrapins are not very easy to train and they deserve sincere looking after. Proper knowledge about this endangered species is also necessary before the training program is initiated.
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