Siamese turtle owner fears operation to separate pets

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The owner of two conjoined turtles is trying to decide whether to have the animals separated.

Todd Ray – owner of what is thought to be the world’s largest collection of double headed animals – was given the turtle by a concerned California man, after it became listless and was hardly moving.

Speaking to the Huffington Post, owner Todd Ray said: ‘I got a phone call from a kid near Compton whose grandfather has turtles.

Torn: Todd Ray, a two-Headed Turtle Owner, is divided over surgical separation Torn: Todd Ray, a two-Headed Turtle Owner, is divided over surgical separation

‘The man had two conjoined turtles and the boy wanted to try and save them.

‘I told him how to hydrate them and told him to give them time to eat, because one head will claw the other one in front of him, not realizing they can’t get away.’

The man was not sure what to do, and feared the turtles may die.

Mr Ray added: ‘They weren’t moving. They are very little, maybe about six weeks old, and when I first saw them, they were motionless. But I grabbed one of the legs and it pulled back.

‘This is the very first time I have ever wanted to separate two animals.

‘I love animals as they are born and have struggled with the idea of separating animals that have been created together.’

The process of separation animals is so rare, that most vets contacted by the website had never heard of such an operation.

Dr. Douglas Folland, who also spoke to the website, said the procedure could go ahead if the turtles are only joined by skin.

He said: ‘With humans, they will go in and divide the organs if they have to.

‘It could be done with animals, but, as far as I know, it hasn’t been done in veterinary medicine. If the [turtles] are just separated by skin, it can be done fairly easy.

‘From the photo, it looks like they are sharing at least the plastron, which is the bottom shell.

‘That would be a tough separation because they both need a plastron. It is not something that will grow back.’

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