Fully aquatic pets are permitted in campus residence halls, and most students with a pet have fish. There are other, possibly more interesting pets found as well.
Rebecca Yourko, senior communication arts major, keeps an axolotl in her room. Axolotls are fully aquatic Mexican salamanders.
Yourko acquired her unique creature from another resident who had several axolotls. Yourko’s pet, Hiccup, fell sick, and she is nursing the axolotl back to health.
“I named him after “How to Train Your Dragon” because he kind of looks like Toothless, the dragon from [the film,” said Yourko of Hiccup’s name.
Hiccup lives in a ten gallon tank, so he is fully within the residence hall requirements. The pet must also be fully submerged at all times.
The axolotl eats blood worms, night crawlers and shrimp pellets. The worms come in frozen cubes that are eaten as the cube thaws.
The diet can be greatly expanded based on the contents at the bottom of the tank. The pet will eat rocks in the tank, and the rocks harm the digestive situation. Instead, Yourko said the aquarium must include sand, a safer alternative for the health of the axolotl.
Hannah Ott, senior education major, also finds joy in her two aquatic turtles.
“[The turtles’] names are Michael Angelo and Leonardo. I named them after the teenage mutant ninja turtles,” Ott said.
According to Ott, whenever she is not having a good day she will go see the turtles swimming about in the aquarium and think about how life is not so bad.
Ott feeds the turtles twice a day, and she frequently visits the turtles between meals just to watch them swim.
Cathy Weyand is a Staff Writer for The Aviso