Box turtles are not easy to care for or low-maintenance pets. … It is also important to realize that, in most states, it is illegal to take a box turtle from the wild and keep it in captivity. Wild populations are dwindling, so they are protected in most states.

Can you have a box turtle as a pet?

Box turtles can make great pets if cared for properly. … With proper diet and housing, captive box turtles usually live up to 20 years of age, but some have been reported to live 30-40 years.

Do box turtles like to be held?

Expect to spend your time cleaning and maintaining their enclosure at least weekly, as well as feeding them every day or two. Box turtles like consistency in their surroundings, and most prefer not to be handled by people. They don’t typically bite, but anxiety from overhandling can lead some to nip a person.

Do box turtles bite?

They rarely snap, hiss or bite like many other turtles, so children are often allowed to keep one as a pet for a few hours or days. Box turtles will quickly eat a meal of fresh tomatoes, cantaloupe or earthworms, and after we’ve enjoyed observing them for a while, they can be released unharmed back where they were …

Can a box turtle live in my backyard?

Box Turtles in Captivity You can build a pen in the yard with a sunny area, a shady area, a shallow water source, and small branches to hide under. In general, this is enough to keep him happy. Females will also need an area where they can burrow to lay eggs. … You may also need an indoor pen for your box turtle.

What do you do if you find a box turtle in your yard?

NEVER DISTURB, PICK UP , OR MOVE A BOX TURTLE UNLESS IT HAS A VISIBLE INJURY OR IS IN IMMINENT DANGER. If you find a turtle in the road, move it to the other side in the direction it was going. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RELOCATE IT. Turtles have small home territories and should be left where they are found.

Do box turtles need heat lamps?

Temperatures should range from 70-90F (21-32C) to enable the turtle to regulate its temperature. A 75100 watt heat lamp or ceramic heat emitter is necessary to provide a basking area that is warmer than the rest of the container. … Box turtles require natural, unfiltered sunlight for their health and wellbeing.

How do you house a box turtle?

Box turtles can be kept in enclosures with tall sides and no top. At minimum, house one adult in a 20-gallon (75-L) aquarium. Include a large area of dry land for basking with a substrate like woodchips that is at least 2-3 in (5-8 cm) deep for burrowing.

Do box turtles know their owners?

Turtles Know Their Owners! Most people don’t realize this, but many turtles recognize the sight and sounds of their owners! … You might not expect it, but your turtle may actually come to you when you call him!

Do turtles get lonely?

Do pet turtles get lonely if they don’t have a companion? No! The fact is that turtles will be totally fine on their own. They don’t need to share a tank with another turtle to be happy and content, and you don’t need to worry about turtle loneliness!

How do you tell how old a box turtle is?

Count the rings. In theory, the wider ring represents a period of good eating, typically the warm season. On the other hand, the narrower ring represents a period of scarcity, often in the winter. Therefore, if you count the rings and divide by 2, you have a general estimate of the turtle’s age. Look for the rings.

Do box turtles swim in water?

Box turtles can indeed swim. Sometimes they are actually seen swimming in the wild. However, most species are not particularly adept at it, and they often look clumsy. … As opposed to the long webbed feet of aquatic species such as cooters and red-eared sliders, box turtles’ feet are usually shorter with individual toes.

How often do box turtles need to drink water?

The depth of the water should be one quarter to one third of your turtle’s shell height. Turtles often defecate in their water container, so make sure to wash and refill it daily. A daily misting is also much appreciated by box turtles.

Do box turtles eat lettuce?

Lettuce is very healthy for your box turtle to eat. It has little nutritional value and should be supplemented with bright vegetables and dark greens. … The fleshy fruit and rind is healthy for your turtle to eat. For most this is their favorite fruit.

Are box turtles intelligent?

Intelligence. Box turtles have a brain, and you may wonder if they have any intelligence beyond mere instinct. … Tests with wood turtles have shown they’re better than white rats at finding their way through mazes.

Are box turtles good for a pond?

Eastern Box Turtle. They are easily recognizable by their high round shell with yellow/orange splotches. They love wetlands, and will mostly hang out around the edge of your pond. Their diet can consist of fruits, mushrooms, worms, and bugs.

How cold is too cold for a box turtle?

Persistent temperatures above 60F are not cool enough for hibernation, and the turtle’s metabolism will be high enough that it will slowly starve. Prolonged temperatures below 41F are too cold, temperatures below freezing should be avoided.

What should I do with a turtle I found?

Generally, wild turtles should be left where they are found. However, sometimes they end up on a road or in another unsafe place. If you find a turtle in the road, it’s usually best to just help them across safely and release them in the direction that they were going.

Why you should never move a turtle?

If there is too much traffic, contact the local police department for help. If the turtle is large (with a long tail), it may be a snapping turtle, they can be a bit aggressive and you might not want to attempt picking it up, but you can still help it across the road. … DO NOT pick them up by their tail.

Where do box turtles go in the winter time?

burrows Many of our local reptiles have evolved ways for dealing with cold weather. Eastern box turtles hibernate or brumate in burrows which they excavate in soft soil.

Where do you release a baby box turtle?

If it’s a species that is native to your area then by all means release it back to the area that it was found. If crossing a road, then put it in the closest woods in the direction it was heading. If not headed to the woods, put it there anyway, it’s safer than the roadway. DO NOT TAKE IT HOME.

How long can turtles live without food?

How many days can turtle survive without food? In terms of days, a turtle can survive around 160 days without food. However, they must also have access to water during this time period as well as a healthy amount of light.

Should I turn my turtles light off at night?

Many turtle owners wonder if they need to keep the light on in their turtle’s tank at night. Luckily, the answer to that is no. Your turtle will be just fine if the light is turned off during night time hours. It is actually recommended that they are exposed to a natural amount of light and darkness each day.

What is a good bedding for box turtles?

Newspaper, butcher paper, paper towels, or commercially available paper-based pelleted bedding or artificial grass made for reptiles (commonly called reptile carpet) is recommended. Some people suggest using straw, hay, or alfalfa pellets, as box turtles like to burrow.

Do indoor box turtles hibernate?

In the wild, box turtles hibernate in all kinds of hiding places. … If your turtle is kept indoors, hibernation is a bit more awkward. Some indoor box turtles won’t hibernate at all since their environment is a more controlled one. Temperatures and lighting are more consistent, and so they aren’t as aware of winter.

What can a box turtle eat?

These turtles are omnivorous and will eat almost anything, including berries, insects, roots, flowers, eggs, and amphibians. Younger turtles tend to be more carnivorous than adults, hunting in ponds and streams for food. As adults, box turtles primarily feed on land.

How fast do box turtles grow?

A box turtle grows very rapidly for the first four or five years of its life reaching sexual maturity in four years but full adult size only by age twenty. Some have stated that only fully grown box turtles, in spite of apparent earlier sexual maturity, are actually reproductively active.

Do turtles like their shells rubbed?

The short answer. The short answer is that yes, in many cases tortoises do like their shells to be scratched or petted. … Just like some people like to hug their friends and other people don’t like hugs, some tortoises really enjoy having their shells scratched and other tortoises don’t like it so much.

How do you play with a turtle?

Give your turtle toys.

  1. Consider providing your turtle with an empty shell that they can slide across the floor with or place a small toy raft in their water that they can push along for fun.
  2. Train your turtle to eat from your hand. …
  3. Try building an obstacle course.

How do you tell if a turtle likes you?

What is this? Turtles also show affection by rubbing their head and neck against their owners. This is a natural behavior that turtles do in the wild. When a turtle rubs their head up against you, it means they trust you and want to show their affection for you.