The Turtle Lover's Utopia

Advice Column: What To Do With Turtle On Doorstep

Question from Mr Turtle Head:

What do I do when a turtle sits outside in front of my door?

Mr Turtle Head,

As it turns out, that turtle is probably on its way to its nesting area and saw your doorstep as a nice safe basking spot at the exact moment he/she wanted to take a rest. (Take heart…it means your home is very welcoming!)

While in general, you can simply pick up a turtle by getting a firm grasp of their shell on both sides of their body and moving them to a safe area in the direction they were already pointing, you do need special instructions if the turtle happens to be a snapping turtle.

Snapping turtles come in two variations: Common Snapping Turtle and Alligator Snapping Turtle. They are equipped with extra long necks that allow them to reach around and to their sides as far back as the middle of their body, if not more. So it is *very* easy for you to lose a finger or get a really nasty cut if the snapping turtle is not treated with respect.

Here is a great video that can show you how to…somewhat safely…move a snapping turtle along.

(Notice how this turtle is already poised in attack mode with its mouth open…scary!)

Good luck!

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