Tootsie is a Missouri three-toed box turtle. She is over 60 years old and was rescued from a basement. She is not a native species to Illinois. She was donated to the park to help educate us all about turtles.
Tootsie has been in captivity too long to be able to survive in the outdoors. She has a glass enclosure where she has access to water, a “hiding” place, a heat lamp, and is fed a vegan diet. She likes strawberries, tomatoes, and eats earthworms, carrots, and grasshoppers among other things. She is well taken care of by the park staff.
One of the lessons Tootsie teaches us is if you find a turtle in the wild, please leave the turtle where you find it. Also, if you see a turtle on the road, you can move it off the road and “point” it in the same direction that it was headed. But in all cases, do not remove the turtle from its native environment.
The Friends of Giant City provide the funds to keep Tootsie fed and housed.
However, the public is welcome to give donations to help the Friends of Giant City keep Tootsie well taken care of. You can mail a check in any amount payable to the Friends of Giant City and send it to: Friends of Giant City, Giant City State Park, 235 Giant City Road, Makanda, IL. 62958
Be sure to make a note in the “memo” portion of your check “For Tootsie” or “For Turtle”, so we will be sure to add it to the "Tootsie Upkeep Fund”.