Need help with my box turtle

by doris

I rescued my box turtle about a month ago off of a busy street. I cannot stand the thought of letting him go in the woods or anywhere else. I have him in a huge plastic tub with flat rocks,a big oval dish for water and swimming,got food on the other side. I have a beach towel for the bottom. Should I do something else to make him feel at home? You know like he were still in the wild? I have not decided if I was going to keep him or not, I am afraid that he is not happy. He is not very active at all, I soak him daily too. I saw that the pet store sales food for him, I am considering getting some of that so that maybe he can be healthier. I was looking for maybe an elementary school that would like to have him.

What do I do.. I have never had a box turtle before.


Comments for Need help with my box turtle

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Oct 18, 2009
by: Turtle Advocate

Here's a link to a list of Georgia Wildlife Rehabilitators. Find one who specializes in reptiles; I hope there's one in your area. He or she should be able to help determine whether the turtle is healthy enough to release and give you additional guidance.

I'd still be happy to speak to you.


Oct 18, 2009
A couple of questions
by: Turtle Advocate

Hi Doris,
I am happy that you want to do right by the turtle. I'd like to know more about the area where you found it. Perhaps it would be best to talk. You can email me at: TurtleAdvocate (at) with your phone number and some times that you are available, and I'll get back to you.

I have two questions at this point.

Has the turtle eaten since you found it?

Were there shrubs, bushes or briars in the area, or was it someone's lawn?

I'll do some research on where you might be able to find help in GA.

Hope to speak to you soon.

Oct 18, 2009
my box turtle
by: Anonymous

Thank you so much for your help. I did not even think about calling the Wildlife people. I am kind of attached to the little fellow and it is going to be hard to see him go. I am feeling bad for him though because like I said he is not as active as he was when I first rescued him. It is getting colder here right now but I think that the temperature is going to start going back up.

I talked to one Wildlife man and he told me to take him back to where I found him and in the wooded area and face him the same way the he was going. That is a bit scary because their is no woods the way that he was headed. I am so afraid that he will get back out on the road again. I guess that the man did not want the rehabilitates to have him because he said that if he were released that he would spend a 3rd of his life looking for his home.

Will he be happy and look for his food right a way? He is slower and I worried that he is not strong enough. Will other animals bother him? The reason I ask that is because I saw a website where a raccoon had gotten hold of a turtles leg.. OH that just broke my heart. I do not want anything to happen to him.. I know that he has lived out all of his life. We are thinking the he is 10 yrs old from counting the rings in his back.

Again, thank you so much for you help..


Oct 18, 2009
Please return the turtle to where you found it.
by: Turtle Advocate

It is great that you were able to save her from the road. Turtles really belong in the wild, and it is virtually impossible to recreate wild conditions at home. She should be able to live in her home and enjoy her freedom.

Please place her back to near where you found her, in the wooded area nearest to her original location. Turtles have site-fidelity and know their home ranges.

Depending on where you live, you may have taken her just when she would be locating a place to hibernate. If temperatures are dropping below 50ยบ at night, you will need to take her to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator who specializes in turtles. Be sure to tell them the exact location where you found the turtle, since turtles are territorial and are likely to wander if released in unfamiliar habitat.

Box turtles are in decline in most areas, and taking even one from a wild population can have a devastating impact, since they mature slowly and a female will only produce a few viable offspring over a lifespan that can last 100 years. There are strict regulations (and sometimes absolute prohibitions) regarding keeping wild turtles in many states.

Wild box turtles often die in captivity because their needs - dietary and environmental - are not being met. This can even take a couple of years, and the decline may not be obvious. Classrooms are a terrible place for a turtle.

I understand that you are attached to her at this point. I do hope you do what is best for her and give her back her freedom.

Good luck!

Oct 16, 2009
Box turtle care
by: Anonymous

You could copy and paste the links for these two care sheets into your browser.

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