Read About Box Turtles

Box turtles are not the type of animal that makes a good companion pet like a cat or dog. There are state regulations regarding ownership of a box turtle. Everything you need to know about them is contained in this article.

Box Turtles - Facts

  1. Description:

    Box turtles are reptiles with a higher domed shell and a lower shell that join together by a hinge. The hinge is located behind the front legs. The box turtle closes its body all the way in the shell if hibernating or afraid.
  2. Varieties:

    In North America four species of this type of turtle exists.
  3. History:

    Normally, these types of turtles are considered wild, and are carnivorous by nature. Once in captivity, they adapt to eating both animal and vegetable.
  4. Physical Traits:

    Their shell is used to hide in. Their head is smooth, and they have feet that are partly webbed in the toes. If in the wild, these creatures can live eighty years.
  5. Other Defining Characteristics:

    They hibernate usually from November through April. They are not friendly. They bask, look for food, and rest. They do not eat in the winter. They prefer land to water but take an occasional bath, so having water available is necessary.
  6. Habitat:

    Normally they live in the desert. A large outside enclosure providing shade, adequate light, and sunshine would be best. They like to burrow, so dig up some ground, place a wire screen on the bottom, and pile the dirt over this. This will give the turtle a digging area while still being protected from predators. Make your enclosure wall deep, so the turtle won't get outside the enclosure. Some box turtles could survive in an aquarium if it was large, and provided the turtle with sufficient water, lighting, and digging needs.

Box Turtles - Concerns

  1. Benefits:

    You get to enjoy observation of the turtle's habits.
  2. Liabilities:

    In some states, buying, selling, or owning a box turtle is illegal. Once you have the animal, you have it for life. It cannot go back to it natural environment legally.
  3. Health Issues:

    Not all vets are knowledgeable in this type of turtle care.
  4. Specific Care Needs:

    Box turtles need to have clean water, a variety of food available such as beetles, crickets, slugs, greens, and fruits, a large roaming area, and solitude. You can give a box turtle cat or dog food, even baby food, but not often. They may need a vitamin supplement. Ask a vet who is experienced in box turtle health, search online, or at the library for detailed information.
  5. Reaction to Children and other Pets:

    Box turtles do not like being handled by anyone and do not like pets.
  6. Special Household Needs:

    These animal need a large area to roam that is quite, clean, and safe.

Box turtles- How to Choose

  1. What to Look for:

    Check with your state about the legality of buying and owning a box turtle. Your local region may require that you purchase a license or permit. If you find one on the road, do not move it to another location. Help it get to back in the direction it was headed. Major threats to this animal include cars, urban renewal, and people who do not know how to care for these animals.
  2. Supplies:

    There are many supplies needed for a box turtle. Primarily box turtles need habitat, food, sunshine, and adequate shade.
  3. Expense:

    This will vary depending on food supply and shelter.