Be careful not to trip over crossing turtles in the Orchid Garden and the Butterfly Valley! These tropical gardens are home to more than one hundred red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) and Cumberland sliders (Trachemys scripta troosti). It is a veritable paradise for turtles. They namely love marshy ground, babbling brooks, and warm temperatures.
The red-eared sliders owe their name to a red spot on their cheeks. The Cumberland sliders, on the other hand, have a yellow mark on their cheeks. These cold-blooded animals are frequently found sunbathing on the banks of a brook in the gardens of the Orchideeën Hoeve, just like they do in their native habitat, namely tropical swamp regions in North and Central America. By lying on their belly, they extend their legs and head as far as possible from their carapace. This posture allows them to optimally enjoy the warming sunrays. Cannot find a spot on the riverbank? No problem! These terrapins love to climb on top of each other while sunbathing.
When the red-eared and Cumberland sliders have had enough sun, they take a refreshing dip in the water. Terrapins can remain submerged for more than 30 minutes! There, they look e.g. for food or try to impress their beloveds with a spectacular mating dance. Once its carapace becomes cold, the terrapin crawls back onto the bank to resume worshipping the sun.