Pet Trade

Along with habitat destruction, roadway kills, and mowing accidents, the pet trade has also proven to be just as detrimental to the Box Turtle population. Before the Box Turtle was placed on the Cites list in the mid-nineties, it was estimated that 30,000 Box Turtles a year were being exported to Europe for the pet trade. That did not take into account the trade here in the States. Today, most states with a native Box Turtle population have rules and regulations regarding the possession and trade of these turtles. If you want to own a Box Turtle, first check your local laws. To obtain a Box Turtle, contact your local herpetological society. They may have turtles that are available for adoption. Also, they can give you expert advice on the care and upkeep of the turtle. Don’t collect a wild Box Turtle, and don’t buy wild ones. Most adult Box Turtles for sale at pet shops, shows, or by individuals were collected in the wild. Owning a Box Turtle is a major commitment. Your turtle will likely out live you. They will require special housing (outside is best) and a special, rather expensive diet.

Not all so called Rescues, Pet Shops, “Zoos”, and Herp. societies have the best intentions for the welfare of Box Turtles. For some, they only see dollar signs. Before surrendering a turtle to an individual/group ask lots of questions. If they become upset or don’t want to answer said questions, then they don’t have the Box Turtles’ well being as a priority.