Life History of Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center’s Painted Turtle
Carpenter Nature Center’s Painted Turtle was hatched in the summer of 2005 and rescued by an individual that later donated him to Carpenter Nature Center to be part of the education team. We believe the turtle is a male due to its concave plastron (underside of its 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 life found in our region. Our turtle will live a comfortable life with humans, as it is provided with all the food it needs and safety from predators. It may even live to be over 30 years old!
Painted Turtles are the most common North American turtle and are still abundant throughout most of their range. The greatest threats to Painted Turtles are predators such as raccoons, which destroy their nests. During breeding season many Painted Turtles, especially females, are killed along roads as they search for a mate or a place to lay their eggs.
Painted Turtles have been part of our ecosystem for a long time. Fossil records of Painted Turtles have been found that date back 15 million years.
If you find a turtle in the wild it is best to observe it and leave it alone. Turtles are able to fend for themselves as soon as they emerge from their nests. Larger turtles may bite to defend themselves and all reptiles and amphibians may carry salmonella. The salmonella bacteria doesn’t make the turtle sick, however the bacteria can make a human sick enough that they end up in the hospital.