off predators or something is seriously wrong.
Unlike the last two passings I've had, Gaia had a lot of strength in her and crawled across my hand drinking water. She was able to move, wobble and look around but she couldn't lift her tail or her back. I ensured she was watered and had access to bramble leaves (she ate quite a lot) and kept her quiet; she panics easily and as such ended up getting herself stuck in quite some horrendous positions that left me very uneasy, I tried to help her as best as I could but rapidly decided that it was better for me to leave her alone.
When a stick insect hurts their tail my immediate concern would be that they can still use the toilet, Gaia had indeed done her business which reassured me and gave me hope but seeing how she kept getting herself stuck in awkward positions that left me honestly wondering if she'd end up snapping herself in half I had doubts. As stated in previous entries, I've often wondered if Gaia is a parthenogenic baby due to her size and behaviour... it's not uncommon for animals produced via parthenogenesis to suddenly collapse and die or have deformities. The more I look at her the more I think my assumptions may be correct.
I found it odd that she had this incident after I added Firma to her enclosure but I can safely say that it was not his doing. I checked on the animals in the night and they both stayed in their positions until morning, I would assume that there was no interaction between the two whatsoever. Gaia's collapse happened within a two hour window, I got up in the morning and checked on her and she was hanging upside down from her usual perch (which she'd been on for a couple of days without moving, I'd wondered if she had another moult in her), I watched TV for a short while, came back upstairs and found her on the floor with a very bruised tail.
She was so close to starting to lay eggs but I guess she just wasn't meant to reproduce. It intrigues me how Firma immediately took an interest in Terra when I introduced them but with Gaia he just sat in his spot away from her. Perhaps a coincidence or perhaps stick insects, like some other animals, have a sense as to which mate is genetically preferable. Who knows, I sure don't but the 122 eggs I've collected so far will be sure to keep me busy and let me explore many behaviours common - and uncommon - within this species.
Rest well, Gaia. Say hi to Spectre and Creeper for me and give them my love.