I had to run out to do errands yesterday. I flipped on the news to catch up on what's going on in the world while I got ready and the weather came on. Temperatures over 100 degrees with heat indexes in the teens! Seriously?? Needless to say I was not happy. I don't like summer to begin with. Don't really like temps above the 70s. I'm the exact opposite of the shell kids. I'd be quite happy living in Maine. The torts? Not so much, so we've stayed south and are actually looking to go even further south.
Finally got up the nerve to open the door and walk out and it literally took my breath away! It was so hot and humid that it honestly was hard to breathe in that! I did get my errands done and got back home, made dinner and got the house cleaned up. Then I started wondering what the normal temps are in Africa where the shell kids are from.
I've always known the basics of sulcatas I guess. Every responsible sully owner learns where they're from, the average temperatures they are happy in, their diet and sunlight needs, etc. But I'd never actually sat down and looked at a map of Africa to see their normal habitat and the temperatures in the area. So I did some research last night.
I found a great map on Sulcata-Station.org. Going by the map, I chose the central area of their range, Chad, and started looking at the average annual temperatures and rainfall in the area. I found their temperature range during the year is a low in the mid to upper 80s and highs in the 105 area. So as I sat here feeling bad for them being outside, they actually probably didn't think much of it. Then I looked into the average rainfall and found that they have a 'rainy season' where they may get a few inches of rainfall. There is so little rain there that they measure it in millimeters! We've been watering the yard here two or three times a week so they don't have to deal with the dust. I guess the dust is something they're used to as well though!
It seems that the temperatures here this past week have been intolerable for humans. Eight calls in the city for heat related problems in one afternoon alone. But the temperatures have made the shell kids feel right at home! I've walked away with a great deal of respect for them. The heat may drop us, but they go about their day like nothing is unusual. During the heat of the day they find shelter in their 'winter room' or in Bradley's case he just goes into his 'man cave' he dug out. While we try to not offer veggies too often, I've felt bad and have been giving them some straight from the fridge. I found that if we offer them both cold and room temp veggies, they choose the ones that are cold. They are brilliant about finding ways to cool off.
While the sprinklers run we find them often walking through the water. We've upped their soaks to a few times a week. Even though it helps cool them and hydrate them, the boys are not fans. Sherm is happy in her pool though. She does her best to 'throw' the water over her back like she would dirt and mud.
Summer is almost over. I'm thrilled. I'll be happy to see those 70 degree temps come back. But I guess the shell kids....................... not so much! Map attached below from Sulcata-Station.org.