Imagine having a pet for nine years and mistaking its gender the entire time? Wait until you hear this one.

Previous New Bedford resident Jackie Frank is a huge fan of turtles and tortoises. In 2011, she was in search of a land tortoise of her own. Jackie visited the Cold Blooded pet store in Acushnet and saw a beautiful one-year-old land tortoise and decided to take it home. After trips to the vet and thinking that the tortoise was a female, Jackie picked out what she thought was the perfect name, Tess the Tortoise. Nine years later in 2019, Tess is about 10vyears old, weighs 50 pounds, and is 20 inches long.

One day, Tess was grazing on grass in the backyard when Jackie's fiance noticed Tess acting a little strange. To Jackie's surprise, Tess was on all fours and mounted on a toy monster truck in the yard. She decided to do some research and discovered that Tess was at the age where tortoises would start to have an interest in mating. Jackie further observed Tess's behavior and was shocked to see that Tess was certainly not a female (if you catch my drift). Jackie had also been searching for a "boyfriend" for Tess, but would no longer need to find one.

Land tortoises can live for 80 to 150 years. Since Tess will live for so long, she is acting as a sort of family heirloom for Jackie and her children. Unlike some other animals, tortoises do not respond to their name. Jackie is faced with the question of whether or not to change Tess' name due to her recent discovery of Tess' gender. Christine Fox says that she would not change Tess' name, because it can still be a boy's name without any issues.

Tell us what you think and help Jackie decide what she should do by voting in the poll below:

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