Ever wonder what it would be like to live on a beach? Every day consists of catching some rays, wiggling toes in the sand and going for a swim to cool off. Eat your heart out because Toj, a red-eared slider turtle, has all that and more.

You wouldn’t know it by looking at him, but Toj (whose full name is Toji) has some real tenure. He’s been at the Sanctuary for more than 20 years as a very special “office turtle.” Red-eared slider turtles, with proper care, can live to an amazing 50-70 years.

Not much is known about him before he arrived, other than he lived in a bathtub. You could say he’s moved up in the world. At Wild Friends, he resides in a far more appropriate semi-aquatic habitat, which includes a minipond with a ramp leading up to a sandy shore, a heat lamp, full-spectrum lighting (to simulate sunlight) and even a lily pad. Nice digs!

Toj is a friendly fellow who enjoys getting his head rubbed, but he is a bit shy around strangers. So I didn’t get to witness his full-blown charm. I did, however, get to take part in a special occasion.

Toji the red-eared slider turtle

Every day he gets to munch on a healthy mix of pellets and fresh greens; however, once a week he gets a protein treat. I happened to be there on snack day. Though, keep in mind that your idea of a snack probably differs a lot from that of a turtle. Because he’s an omnivore, Toj receives a gourmet selection of mealworms, which he gobbles with gusto. Now that’s worth coming out of the water.

While life at the beach at Best Friends is good, it could be even better with a similar setup in a home of his own. Toj and four other red-eared slider turtles are available for adoption from Best Friends.