Life History of Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center’s Box Turtle
Carpenter Nature Center’s Eastern Box Turtle was adopted by the Nature Center back in the 1980’s. He had been a pet, but his owner was moving and could not care for him any longer. For a while, he lived with CNC naturalists. His age is unknown. We do know he is a male due to his concave plastron (underside shell).
Carpenter Nature Center’s turtle is a wonderful ambassador, teaching thousands of visitors every year about our natural environment and the diversity of wildlife in our region. Our turtle will live a comfortable life with humans, provided with all the food it needs and safety from predators. If in the wild, he would live between 40 and 50 years old, but in captivity, he may live as old as 100.
Eastern Box Turtles are not native to Minnesota or Wisconsin. They are found primarily in the eastern part of the United States. They can sometimes be spotted in other states; this is because box turtles are very popular pets, and sometimes when people do not want them anymore, or they move, they release the turtles into the wild. This might seem helpful to the turtle, but it’s actually very difficult for a domestic turtle to survive in such a different environment. Instead of releasing pets into the wild, it’s better to drop them off at a local animal shelter or veterinarian.
The best things you can do to help Eastern Box turtles are to protect natural habitats by cleaning up garbage, using habitat-safe products, and sharing what you have learned about Eastern Box Turtles with others.