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Turtles/I found a turtle


I know nothing about turtles, but today while driving home we saw one on the side of the road. When we stopped to rescue is I noticed blood on him. I was wondering what is need to know to take care of him. How to fix the minor bleeding on his shoulder, what type he is, feeding, and environment. He is currently in my backyard near a puddle with salad mix, a hard boiled egg, and an apple slice. Please respond soon. Lizz

Hi Liz,

There's no way for me to tell you what species it is without more information and a picture.  In any case,  he needs to be either returned to the safest place near where you found him, or turned over to a wildlife rehabilitator for diagnosis and treatment.  Caring for an injured wild turtle isn't something you should be doing, since you don't have the experience or knowledge, and wild turtles do belong in the wild. If you can post clear pictures of the turtle and the injury, I can at least help with ID and try to assess the extent of the injury.  If they are dog-bite injuries (puncture wounds), for instance, there's a higher likelihood that a course of antibiotics is needed even though the injuries may not seem serious.  You can also try washing away the blood and seeing if the wounds appear to be totally superficial.  If so, then it's safe to simply release him away from the road.  If you see punctures in the skin or shell, a rehabber or rescue would be the best bet.  


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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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