introducing.. zizu

Zizu is the name of my red-eared terrapin whom I own since the year 1998. She’s not my first terrapin pet thou, as I once had a female terrapin called Rory in 1997 – then she died a year later, and a male one called Darren – who disappeared only three months after I bought him.

Back to my terrapins, I bought two – one was a highly active female, and that is Zizu, and the other one was a slightly more calm male one, whom I named Xander.

I was so devastated when I lost my second terrapin Darren, and about a month later, I bought a pair of terrapins in Barito Market – sad thou, as the vendors of the market had just been evicted about a week ago.

Back to my terrapins, I bought two – one was a highly active female, and that is Zizu, and the other one was a slightly more calm male one, whom I named Xander.

xander-zizu first pic

zizu and xander, 1999

I had a very odd way of naming my pets. Rory was named after a former Tottenham Hotspur footballer Rory Allen, and Darren was from Darren Anderton. I was obsessed with football at that time, and despite that I support Manchester United, I thought that their footballers’ names were rather “too common”. Actually, I wanted to name my first terrapin “Ian” from Ian Broudie – as I used to adore him, and I still do, but I have a cousin name Ian and it would not be good if one day he went to my place and asked me the name of my terrapin.

Xander, however, was not named from a footballer. In fact, I forgot where I got that name. I think it was from a Buffy character. The Buffy and the Vampire Slayer TV series. Ha-ha. Then Zizu was from Zidane’s nickname “Zizou”, to mark the victory of France at the 1998 World Cup (thou I actually support for England!)

When I bought Xander and Zizu they were like only three-centimeter-long. Zizu was always the ‘hyperactive’ one. So when I let them roam my house (not to be put inside a bucket or the pond), Zizu was always disappeared somewhere, either between a pile of newspapers or found climbing the living room curtain.

As they got bigger and bigger, they were ‘released’ to the pond in front of the house. Unfortunately, the pond was not only their house, but also the house of many colourful fishes my mother owned. Very unfortunate were the fishes. I didn’t realize that terrapins could be such a wild carnivores. In less than a week, dozens of nice, fat, goldfishes were gone – eaten by Xander and Zizu. Zizu was a wilder one, as I once saw it with my own eyes when she tore apart the belly of a nice white fish. Naughty terrapin!

xander and zizu, 2001

xander and zizu, 2001

Ever since that incident, my parents never bought any colourful fishes anymore. Only black ones. It seemed that the terrapins’ sights are not very sensitive to dark colours.

It broke my heart to pieces one day, when I came back from my internship in 2002 and found that Xander was gone. My family said that he climbed the pond and ranaway – as they in one or two occasions did – but I believe that he was stolen. Damn you, terrapin thief!

In 2003, my dad made a special pond for Zizu at the backyard (not really backyard, it was more of like a back part of the so-called “sideyard”).And that was great, because: 1. It keeps Zizu inside the house, as there is no way out from the sideyard to the ‘outside world’, and 2. My mom can keep beautiful, colourful fishes at the terrace pond.

Zizu lived there ever since, and no fish were harmed. Well, almost. She lived there with several of catfishes, but, when we forgot to feed her, she creatively found a food of her own – the catfish. So if we ran out of her food in two or three days, we would soon smell something bad from the pond. The colour of the pond’s water would soon turn to greenish, and when we cleaned the pond, we would find, the head of the dead catfish.

turtle 021

zizu, 2004

Zizu is a big girl now. Her size now is like twelve times bigger than when I bought her in 1998. Around 40 centimeters long and 25 centimeters wide. She is fat, as you can see all her fat near her hind-legs and tail. I always wanted to match her up with a male terrapin of his age, but until now I still can’t find it. So if you have a male terrapin around her age, please contact me! hehe 😉

DSC_3688zizu 2007


my feet compared to zizu

anyway, more photos of zizu can be found here


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