Turtle owners in China have been increasingly concerned for their little pets’ lives as temperatures across the country dropped to sub-zero this week.
On Jan 26, people began posting pictures of turtles frozen almost solid in ice. The water used for keeping in the tiny animals froze up, trapping the turtles in ice and the social media was inundated with pleas from distraught owners on how to thaw them out.
Many of the pictures show the helpless reptiles completely submerged in ice while in others, some have manage to get their heads up but their bodies remain stuck.
Some of the people have saved their turtles by getting them out of ice and submerging them in warm water in time. Others have not been so lucky.
A Facebook user helpfully wrote her own experience of melting the ice from her turtle: she soaked it into warm water and when it was thawed out, wrapped it in a towel. The turtle is now doing fine.
Although, many people have come up with great advises on how to save the pets, others have not been so sympathetic to the plight, telling the owners to throw the turtles in the fire and then eat them.
The situation has escalated so much that even the Jiangning branch of the Nanjing Public Security Bureau has offered advice on popular Chinese microblogging website Weibo. The statement reads:
“Some turtles [who live in the tropical regions] might die, but some breeds can survive. Owners can use hot water to help dissolve the ice wrapped around the tortoises faster.”
According to Genome Biology, “a baby western painted turtle has the capacity to freeze nearly solid, thaw, and survive with negligible tissue damage.”
China is experiencing the coldest winter in nearly 30 years as temperatures drop below -47.8 Celsius. Schools in several cities north of China have been suspended and the emergency services are preparing themselves for the worst.