How to Find Turtles

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How to Find Turtles
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Turtles move slowly and blend with the environment. They will burrow in sand, hide under rocks and submerge themselves in water. Finding a wild turtle or a lost domestic turtle is often challenging. You must know the preference for habitat and have a keen eye. Finding a turtle for a pet is easy through rescue groups and pet store outlets.


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Lost Pet Turtles Indoors

Escaped indoor turtles will seek a safe hiding spot. Begin your search where you last saw your turtle or near the enclosure from which he escaped. Search the immediate area by scanning the floor and the walls. Look in corners and check under any furniture. The turtle is likely to hide beneath the nearest couch, table or in a dark, concealed area. Thoroughly search the area then gradually expand your search until you locate him.

Lost Pet Turtles Outdoors

Lost outdoor turtles are often difficult to find. They will hide in tight places, burrow and do their best to disappear. Remove pets, loud kids and any potential threats from the environment. Excessive noise is viewed as a threat and the turtle will not reveal himself. Begin your search in the area where you last saw the turtle and slowly expand your radius as you look. Check under rocks, logs and around the roots of plants. Look for shade and dark areas that provide a hiding spot. Walk slowly as you look and check every possible spot. Also look around any water sources as your turtle eventually will require a drink.


Capturing Pet Turtles

When you locate the lost turtle, approach slowly to prevent stress. Keep a shoe box in your hand and cover the turtle with the box. Slide the lid under the trapped turtle to contain him in the box. If you must handle the turtle, hold him by the shell and avoid contact with his head, neck and legs.

Finding Wild Turtles

Wild turtles are interesting to observe in their natural environment. Finding wild turtles requires knowledge of their habitat and habits. Follow the food sources for the best results. Land-based turtles eat leafy plants and insects. Look for water sources and broad-leafed plants that provide forage. Walk slowly through their habitat and look for their round shell or eyes. You must spot them first because they will hide when they are noticed. Wild water turtles are a different story. Scan slow moving or still sections of water with your eyes. Look for logs and rocks near the water that provide basking spots.



Collecting wild turtles and keeping them as pets is illegal in many areas. Do not capture or handle the turtles unless you know the local laws.

Finding a New Pet Turtle

If you are simply looking for a new pet turtle, search for local rescue groups or go through a pet store. Your nearest humane society may have a turtle or look for a turtle specific rescue group near you. Pet stores typically carry box turtles and sliders along with the aquariums, food and accessories required for a healthy habitat.