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Turtles/western box land turtle


Turtle 1
Turtle 1  

Hi!  The manager of our RV park found this turtle/tortise, this morning.  it SEEMS to be a female western land box turtle.  The shell is very dark so I suspect she's quite old.  Shes used to be handled, she watches us as we watch her, no fear.
Can you help to positivly identify her?  Also, what should we be feeding her?  Tried apples and carrots, and I understand that slugs and bugs are good, but those are not around this time of year!
She has a small aquarium for the time being, though we do hope to locate her owner.  She's about 8 inches long.

Hi Tru,

It's not a box turtle--box turtles have a hinged plastron (lower shell), but their carapace (upper shell) also tends to be very domed.  It looks like a slider, probably a yellow-bellied slider, and yes, quite old.  If you can provide a picture of her plastron and tail area, I can give a better ID and sex her for you.  She almost looks melanistic (dark phase), but I think she's so dark due to age.  You can see some pictures of sliders here:  Sliders are aquatic turtles, so she'd need a large aquarium (at least 80 gallons, depending on her size) with filter and basking/UVB bulb.  It would be great to find her owner, although sliders are often dumped, so it might not be possible.

You can try worms, fish, superworms (they look sort of like really big mealworms), boiled chicken, greens, turtle sticks/pellets, etc.  They don't need to eat daily, especially at that size/age, so if she's been fed regularly she may not be too hungry, and being in a strange environment can affect appetite as well.  Offer food in small amounts at first to see what she likes, but offer as much variety as possible once she starts eating.  Please let me know if I can be of more help.  


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Questions regarding husbandry of Russian tortoises and other Mediterranean species, sulcata, and redfoot tortoises; general tortoise and turtle care; box turtle care. If I can't answer a specific question, I can provide sources for further research. Disclaimer: My advice is not a substitute for vet care. If I think your tortoise/turtle has a specific medical condition or injury that warrants a vet visit, I'll tell you so, and if possible I'll help you locate a vet. It is neither legal nor ethical for me to provide veterinary advice.


I have kept and bred Russian tortoises for over ten years and have other Mediterranean species plus redfoots and box turtles. I've worked with other tortoise and turtle species while doing volunteer rescue work; mostly sulcata but some leopards, California desert tortoises, yellowfoots, all box turtle species, red-eared sliders, etc. I don't personally keep aquatic species, but have access to a wealth of information and research to help you with any questions you might have.

My knowledge is based on hands-on experience keeping, breeding, and working with tortoises and turtles.

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