Tortoise adopted by science teacher

Tortoise adopted by science teacher

Emily Parrish

Travis Barnes’, science teacher, has a new addition to his room this year in the form of a turtle. Watson is so named because of the famous biologist John Watson and Greg Lestrade. Watson is a Russian Tortoise, found in room 230, and was acquired at Pet Smart while Barnes and his wife were shopping. Barnes said, “I wanted to bring something into my classroom that would excite the kids and make his classroom fun to go into.”

Barnes is not positive on Watson’s age, but if he was to guess he would say that he is 1-2 years old. Barnes said, “The life span for Russian Tortoises’ are about 60 years.” Barnes has only had Watson for a couple months but he has been a lot of fun so far.  Watson is an omnivore and eats vegetation, but he is harmless and never bites people. Student in Barnes’ classes like to hold and hangout with Watson. When they are having down time they can go take pictures with the Tortoise or just watch him crawl around the classroom. It hasn’t caused a problem yet and the students are really enjoying having Watson in their class.

Barnes said, “I got a Russian Tortoise because they don’t grow to a big size like most tortoises so it won’t take up a lot of room in my classroom and he will be small enough for the students to hold”. Watson will only grow about 10 inches which would be 2 times the size he is now but no bigger. He tries to take Watson to school every chance he can. Barnes usually just keeps Watson at school over night.

Elizabeth Anderson, senior, likes to have Watson in the classroom. She said, “I think it’s really cool because not a lot of other teachers have pets in their classroom, and when we have down time we can play with the turtle and interact with it, and he is really friendly.”