Critters of Southern Turkey

Tea Chest Tidbits – short posts with lots of delightful photos of our time in Turkey.

The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man

Charles Darwin

We love animals…critters…reptiles…insects…. Of all descriptions and species, big and small we have been delighted with the up close experiences we have had with the wonderful critters of Southern Turkey. During the cooler months when we were out walking for extended periods of time we would see tortoises daily, creeping along the grass verges, stopping to have a nibble on a cactus leaf or sitting quietly enjoying the warmth of the Mediterranean sun. I was surprised at how happy they were for me to get quite close, photograph and watch them in awe; they were very accommodating. The Turkish people are very kind to animals, pets as well as the ones found out and about. As I mentioned in Four Paws of Southern Turkey the local councils provide food stations for the cats and dogs to ensure they have fresh water and food available at all times. The tortoises can sometimes of course wander onto the roads and this could be potentially fatal. However, there is an unwritten rule that if you see a tortoise on the road or very close to it, you pull over and gently lift it to a safe place. We have helped a few tortoises to safe havens and we have seen several drivers come to a screeching halt to do the same. I love the compassion the locals have for these delightful critters.

Goats are very popular here, the milk is mainly used for cheeses and soaps. The skins are used to protect and preserve the beautiful cheeses. You will see all sorts of wonderful cheeses presented this way at the local markets.

Loggerheads Turtles are the most common around Finike. There are a few of the more elusive Soft Shelled Turtles but sadly they are so shy I didn’t manage to get a picture of them. The Loggerheads are residents in the marina, along the shores and in the rivers too. It is such a delight to see them swim by so majestically. I have become a firm fan of these wonderfully elegant creatures.

I’m not over-fond of animals. I am merely astounded by them.

Sir David Attenborough

Chickens and roosters are prolific in Turkey. Doesn’t matter what time of day it is you will hear a rooster crowing and most blocks of houses in both the rural and urban settings have multiple chickens. Ducks enjoy the beautiful rivers through the township of Finike and at the marina in Kas. You will find a bounty of fresh chicken and duck eggs at the markets. Geese and Turkey are quite common too; so no shortage of bird-life here.

Lizards are very common along the beach front, on stone walls and in the rocks. During the cooler months you will see them everywhere but in the searing summer heat they tend to come out at the cooler parts of the day. They range in size and colour and are such fun.

We discovered fresh water crabs one day while out walking in the country. They have quite large burrows in the banks of the streams and water ways. The crabs live harmoniously with frogs, snakes and lizards. This one pictured was easily the size of my hand!

Fresh Water Crab

I never thought I would be taking photographs of snails, but these ones are fascinating! They form in clusters sometimes with many different species, called grappes. It is a strategy land snails use to fight the extremely high ground temperatures and the low levels of humidity during the summer months. The snails climb up the stem of leafless plants or trunks so as to avoid dying of dehydration. They were everywhere!!

We have loved seeing the different critters throughout Southern Turkey. Some aren’t unique but very cute all the same. Hope you have enjoyed this small insight in to this amazing part of the world.

Catch us next time when we share with you another jaw dropping historic site we visited on our journey.
Happy Tea Drinking and Fair Winds ♥

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6 thoughts on “Critters of Southern Turkey

  1. Thank you for my armchair travel treat…Super photos and fascinating insight to many people and animals of Turkey.
    Although I’m now ancient (mentally 40), I’m so grateful for the modest amount of travelling husband and I have done in our lives, Since we retired to Spain, we have met some fascinating people…Take care and happy, safe travelling. Cheers!. xx

    Liked by 1 person

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