Veterinarians see a little bit of everything in their day-to-day work, but Dr. Don Harris got a bit of a surprise when he X-rayed a tortoise on Monday.
Harris was examining Lola the tortoise after his owner brought the male tortoise into Avian & Exotic Animal Medical Center because he was acting poorly over the weekend and wasn’t as hungry as usual. It turns out, Lola had been having stomach problems for about a month, so Harris sent the tortoise for an X-ray.
“When I saw the X-ray, I thought the staff was playing a joke on me,” Harris said. “What I saw in the tortoise’s intestines was a little metallic sea turtle. I thought they had slipped a pendant under the tortoise. But somewhere along the way, this guy ate a little metallic sea turtle.”
Harris said tortoises graze like cattle and eat the grass, plants, and other things; so it’s not uncommon for them to eat rocks and other objects. But, the vet said this was the first time he’s ever seen a turtle eating a turtle pendant.
The vet said Lola is in good health and that the small turtle pendant should be digested soon.