Sarah Porter of Astoria, New York is not ashamed to admit she has crabs– hermit crabs, that is. 

Photo by Thomas Lipke on Unsplash
Photo by Thomas Lipke on Unsplash

Porter has rescued dozens of hermit crabs over the years from people who no longer want theirs. Often a staple in pet stores, Porter says people often buy hermit crabs without truly knowing the type of environment they need to thrive and stay healthy. Hermit crabs are native to the Caribbean and are therefore acclimated to tropical conditions, something the average buyer may not realize before pulling the trigger on a crab purchase. 

“Unfortunately, they are basically marketed as toys, but they are a living thing and they can feel things. They need a very specific environment to be able to breathe.”

Porter often responds to Craigslist ads from people in New York City and the tri-state area that are no longer willing to take care of their crabs. She’s created the ultimate “crabitat” inside a 55-gallon tank which provides enough heat, humidity and sand to re-animate inert or sluggish crabs. Hermit crabs living in improper conditions spend their life hiding and slowly suffocating, she says.

Porter started a YouTube channel called “Two Claws Up” to document her rescue missions and offer crab care tips. 

“I started this channel to help people take care of their hermit crabs and set up their tank correctly.”

If you’re a New York hermit crab owner and are miffed by your crustacean’s inactivity, you may want to check out Porter’s YouTube channel for tips on keeping your crabs happy and healthy.

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