box turtle Scooter the Box Turtle
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Turtle Rescue Of Long Island

 

North American

Box turtle

General Care

 

For specific care check www.aboxturtle.com

 

Box turtles need a set up which will simulate their natural environment. Ideally an outdoor set up works best. They require high humidity with a damp substrate and a good source of water for swimming/soaking daily. If kept indoors provide the largest enclosure you possibly can. A large 50+-gallon Rubbermaid type container works well enough, but bigger is even better.

 

Contrary to what some might say, Box turtles do like to bask in the sun as well as be able to hide in a dark moist area. Providing a good basking lamp is important. Avoid any type of heating pad or heat rocks. They have the potential to burn a turtle and turtleís donít naturally get their heat from below them, but rather from the sun above, so again, simulate natural conditions. The basking area should be in the range of 90-95į, but the turtle must also have a cool side to the enclosure to retreat to if it wants to. A good microclimate is important. In addition to a basking light a good UVB lamp is also a necessity if the turtle is kept indoors. A good investment is a quality UVB/heat lamp, which not only provides good uvb output and heat, but also only requires one fixture as opposed to two when using separate lamps fur uvb and heat.

 

A Box turtleís diet should consist of live foods as well as fruits and vegetables and good quality greens. They love earthworms, slugs, snails, mealworms, superworms, crickets, pillbugs, pinky mice, etc. You can also feed them shrimp, sardines or other fish. The smellier the food it seems the more attracted they are to it. Most will readily eat cantaloupe, strawberries, mango, papaya, banana, blueberries, raspberries, kiwi, grapes, tomato and other such fruits. The riper the fruit the more they seem to enjoy it. Sweet potato, squash, green beans, green or red peppers.  Some but not all Box turtles will eat red leaf lettuce, dandelion and chicory along with other good greens.  To get a fussy Box turtle to eat their fruits, veggies and greens they can be chopped into small bits and mixed into their favorite foods like a mash.

 

Avoid any pelleted form of Box turtle food sold by pet stores. Itís not a complete nutritional diet as claimed on the container, but rather a catastrophe waiting to happen. Visit our rescue page http://www.turtlerescues.com/rescues.htm to see what providing only pelleted food can do to a turtle. Granted, this turtle was given all the wrong care, but a proper diet would have helped a great deal to keep it from becoming so deformed.

 

Be sure to visit www.aboxturtle.com for more specific information about each species of Box turtle.

 

 

 

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