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Good luck turtle taken from tank

By Staff | Mar 12, 2010

The above note — allegedly written by the turtle thief — was left at the China Kitchen Restaurant and later submitted to the Shepherdstown Police Department.

A red eared slider turtle was kidnapped from the China Kitchen restaurant on German Street in an apparent act of animal liberation. Staff at the restaurant noticed the turtle was missing late Sunday, Feb. 28. The turtle’s aquarium sits in the dining area, near the sushi bar. On the aquarium, the turtle-napper left a disjointed, yet creatively punctuated message.

The message said, in large letters “Shame on you!![sic]” and, around it in smaller letters, “Would you like to live like this? Evil in us all…[sic] This creulty [sic] is unreasonable shame on you. This poor animal,” followed by a frowny face drawing. Betty Wang, owner of China Kitchen, later that week told Police Chief Tim Johnson about the terrapin heist when he visited the establishment for a meal. But Wang declined to file a formal complaint, according to Johnson.

By Friday, March 5, staff say a customer had already purchased a new turtle for the restaurant. Turtles are associated with good luck in Chinese culture, and can be found in many Chinese businesses looking for a dose of supernatural shelled benevolence. Wang, who is Chinese, said the turtle was her pet for over 10 years. She appealed to the perpetrator to return her beloved pet, but declined to comment further on the story.

(The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a fictional foursome of crime fighting turtles, are mutated, humanoid versions of the red eared slider.)

March 12, 2010, 8:30 a.m. Web Update – Red eared sliders are an invasive species in this area. It would be against the law if the animal was, indeed, liberated into any local rivers or streams.