Ryan Phillips, founder of Life with Pigs Farm Sanctuary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and a talented musician who serenades rescued cows, previously planted a beautiful sulcata tortoise named Sam next to him. We sat down and lovingly read a Halloween children's book with colourful illustrations by Sandra Boynton. Sam seemed fascinated by the story in his own amphibious way. "Why not read to Sam? He really enjoys knowing that we're close and interacting. So I read Sandra Boynton's colourfully illustrated stories to him. It makes a lot of sense to read to them.” And I don't know about you, but I think he loved it. He was excited till the end.
Phillips explained that he never understands why people think reptiles and amphibians are not interested in interacting with humans. "'Reptiles and amphibians do not become attached to humans, so we should expect them not to interact too much or not be bothered by our presence.' Some of the things I have said exactly this I've read the website, and there are many websites specifically about Sulcata tortoises. What does Sam do when he's not interacting with us when he's not paying attention to our presence? I want to know.”
Additionally, he explained that he treats each animal on the farm as they are. I think the problem that people often struggle with is the belief that the way they interact with and relate to others is the only way. And if we are just open to everything that each animal is trying to tell us, and willing to open our hearts and minds to new ways of connecting, we will spend our whole lives blind. I believe there will be a whole world. Sam doesn't have to be my sidekick like I'm used to with people, dogs, and even cows. We build our own connections and bonds.