The sister who loved this 8-yeared red-eared slider came with her mum to collect the urn. She appeared to be in her 30s and taller than the average Singaporean Chinese girl. Her fair complexion stood in contrast to her long black dress.
"Shall we throw the urn into the sea or just the ashes?" the mum asked me.
"Usually, the ashes are scattered into the sea," I said. "The urn is not but this is personal."
This terrapin would likely be given some drugged food with steroids as the popped out shell is rarely seen in normal terrapins and I have not seen such cases in my 40 years of practice. In the first place, there is only a handful of adult terrapins being sent to Toa Payoh Vets.
There was one adult terrapin that vomited blood after falling down and the owner phoned me. "There is nothing that can be done in such cases as there is internal injuries and bleeding."
Yesterday, a Sec 1 boy's baby terrapin came in. "Are you sure the terrapin still move?" I asked him. "The terrapin did open his mouth to gasp for air but that was only one time." I told the father that the chances of survival are very slim. The terrapin could have dropped from the table to the floor some 2 weeks earlier but the boy was not sure which one. He had two terrapins given as birthday presents by his friend. I ward it for observation.