What to Do When You Find a Turtle in Your Backyard (6 Ways To Help Them)

What to do when you find a turtle in your backyard

If your turtles outside of captivity, most people don’t know what to do. What to do when you find a turtle in your backyard?

Before you take any action with the turtle, first determine its species. Rules on whether you can keep or bother the turtle differ by state and species of turtle like snapping turtle. If it is not a foreign species, generally it is best to leave turtles alone. Get professional help if you are unsure about the kind of turtle or what to do next.

It’s not every day that you come across wild turtles or pond turtle in your backyard. If it does happen, here are some ideas of what to do when you find a turtle in your backyard.

What to Do When You Find a Turtle in Your Backyard

What to Do When You Find a Turtle in Your Backyard?

Springtime is when many wild animals and turtles relocate, so you may find them in roads or gardens. If you’re unsure what to do if stumble upon a turtle, here are some helpful tips on what to do when you find a turtle in your backyard.

Leave Them Be

Generally, it’s best to leave turtles be especially aquatic turtle. They’re often on the go from early spring through late fall. If you have a nearby lake or live near some woods, then you’ve probably seen many of these animals already.

Picking up a turtle outside of captivity is more likely to harm than help the animal. So, unless you’re experienced with handling turtles or there are no nearby habitats for the animal, it’s best to leave them be.

What to do when you find a turtle in your backyard

Identify the Species

Turtles may occasionally escape from their cages or be released by their owners who no longer want them. These turtles aren’t likely to be native to your region and might pose a serious risk to your local species. They are also less likely to survive in the wild due to the fact that they will not be used to the outside world. It could also be illegal for you approach, disturb, or adopt them depending on the species.

Help Them Cross the Road

What to Do When You Find a Turtle in Your Backyard

If you see a turtle crossing the road, pick it up and help it cross to the other side in the direction it was already going. This will protect them from being hit by cars or attacked by predators.

Do Not Catch and Release Them

Some well-intentioned people think they are helping a turtle by capturing it and moving it to another body of water. However, this can actually do more harm than good. Turtles have very limited living areas, so taking them out of their home territory may be like giving them a death sentence. Only relocate a turtle if you are absolutely sure it is the right thing to do and that you won’t be putting its life in danger.

Call a Recognized Animal Rehabilitator

Unless you’ve previously handled turtles, it’s advisable to enlist the assistance of a professional. A skilled individual can assist you in identifying the turtle species, determining if it is native or invasive, and assisting you with the steps required to properly care for the animal. They may also transport the animal into their facility and assist with its rehabilitation because most domestic turtles do not adapt well to living in isolation in nature.

What to Do When You Find a Turtle in Your Backyard

Take in Baby Turtles

Baby turtles have zero defense mechanisms and are prone to dying soon after they hatch, so if you see one outside, please take it inside immediately and call for help. By helping a baby turtle, you improve its likelihood of survival. If you think its parents are close by and leave the baby alone, your’re mistaken since mother turtles lay eggs on land away from water and don’t stick around to help them, they just move back to their natural habitat. Consequently, a wild baby turtle has no defense mechanisms.

What to Do When You Find a Turtle in Your Backyard

What to Do When You Find a Turtle in Your Backyard During Hibernation

Before winter, turtles start looking for a safe place to hibernate. They look for a spot where they will spend the entire winter season. Most of the time, turtles hibernate at the bottom of lakes; however, when they can’t find a suitable cozy place there, they’ll look elsewhere. Some examples include finding a hole to dig or searching for an enormous pile of leaves.

Turtles often hibernate in people’s yards without the owner even knowing. If you don’t want the turtle to damage your lawn, though, simply pick it up and move it outside.

What to Do When You Find a Turtle in Your Backyard: Can You Keep a Turtle You Found Outside?

The straightforward answer is that, most likely, no even if you have a good clean backyard. You should not just pick up a wild turtle on a whim. Turtles are unlike cats and dogs in that they need significant preliminary research, care, and dedication to survive in domestic environments.

If you are insistent on keeping a turtle as a pet, here are some things on what to do when you find a turtle in your backyard:

  • Check to see if it’s a species of turtle that people keep as pet turtles or not. If it’s endangered, abandoned, or extremely wild, leave it alone.
  • Check with the relevant authorities to determine whether keeping this turtle species as a pet is legal. You don’t want to get into any trouble because of this.
  • Bring your turtle to a professional and get it checked for diseases that could cause problems later on.
  • Before you bring a turtle home, do your research. Look into what type of habitat they need and if it will fit in your pond backyard. Make sure to find out what supplements they need and how often to feed them so that they can stay healthy. You should also look up any special precautions specific to the breed of turtle you are considering as some turtles require more care than others.

What to Do When You Find a Turtle in Your Backyard- Bottom Line

What to do when you find a turtle in your backyard? You can attempt to raise the turtle with these things in mind. However, don’t forget that a turtle is a long-term commitment. So, don’t go into this halfheartedly! It’s still advised to give the turtle to a rehabilitation facility or leave it alone if you really want to keep it as a pet. Adopting or buying one from a pet shop is an option if you truly want to keep one as a pet.

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