- Temperature, Humidity, & Lighting:
- Wild Diet: they are omnivores and eat a diverse amount of animal and plant matter, including amphibian egg masses, tadpoles, crustaceans, small fish, water insects, worms, slugs, snails, leeches, leafy vegetation, ripe fruits, berries and mushrooms, some of which are poisonous to humans
- Zoo/Aquarium Diet: can be fed a variety of clam, fish, shrimp, insects, worms, aquatic turtle pellets, greens and vegetables.
Notes on Enrichment & Training
- Check out the Reptelligence Facebook page and Reptelligence website for enrichment and training inspiration.
- Advancing Herpetological Husbandry July 2018 Quarterly Newsletter- Article Environmental Enrichment for Reptiles By Charlotte James
- Can be easily target trained.
Colony or Breeding Management
Notes species is housed or managed socially or for breeding purposes.
Dimorphism or practiced ways to individually mark species (such as those in colonies, like giant millipedes).
- Brandywine Zoo: During cool weather (under 65°F), supplemental heat is provided with a hot water bottle set to one side of the transport cooler. Place hot water bottle on outside of transport box, but inside secondary cooler.
- Brandywine Zoo: aquatic turtles travel in a locking-lid type tote that have been amended with extra ventilation holes on the lid (with a wood-burning tool). Some species are transported with 1-2cm of water, while others are transported with the tote lined with very wet (but no standing water) paper towels.
- During cool weather, the tote is transported inside a larger, secondary Coleman style cooler.
Tips on Presentation
Tips on Handling
- This can get to be a fairly large turtle, and like many aquatic turtles, can have sharp nails.
- In general, animals seen at the zoo do not make good pets. Most have specialized dietary, veterinary, housing, and social needs that are difficult or impossible for even dedicated pet owners to meet. Always ensure that your future pet has not been taken from the wild. Captured animals are typically mistreated by profit-motivated traffickers and dealers, resulting in many animal deaths; well-meaning animal lovers may feel like they are rescuing animals by purchasing them but are really perpetuating the cruelty. In addition, many exotic pets are released by their owners when they become too dangerous or demanding, often with devastating effects on local ecosystems. Animals that should never be kept as pets include all bats, primates, and exotic carnivores. Birds, fish, and reptiles have specialized needs, are frequently wild-caught, and damage the local environment if released; guests should be advised to educate themselves and proceed with caution. Domestic dogs and cats are almost always the best option! Many deserving animals are available for adoption at animal shelters. http://www.philadelphiazoo.org/Save-Wildlife/Images/PetWalletBro2012.aspxhttp://pin.primate.wisc.edu/aboutp/pets/index.html
Comments from the Rating System
- Zoo New England, Stone Zoo: Great aquatic turtle for programs, with good conservation messages. This species is tolerant with cooler temperatures, which is great, and can be used outdoors for more of the year that some of the tortoises and other non-natives.
Natural History Information
Range and Habitat
Threats and Conservation Status
Protected at the state level in many states as Threatened or Endangered.
Did you know…
|By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons|
Any Documents to attach, species spotlights, etc.
- Check out sample animal policies, handling sheets, and fact sheets on our Example Policies & Guidelines page
- View past issues of Program Animal SAG Newsletters
- Ambassador Animal SAG Newsletter Vol. 2, Issue 3: Temperature and Transport: Welfare Implications for Ambassador Ectotherms
- Choice, Control, and Training in Ectotherms, By Carrie Kish
- Stress Management in Reptiles and Frogs
- Reptile Lighting Information
- Check out the Advancing Herpetological Husbandry Facebook group. They have also published several newsletters (see Reptiles page for links).
- See: AAH -January 2018 Quarterly Newsletter Article: Temperature and Heat for Reptiles By Roman Muryn
Contributors and Citations
- Nancy Romanik, Education Program Manager – Zoo New England, Stone Zoo
- Houston Zoo, Natural Encounters
- Shedd Aquarium