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Advice on Wintering box turtles

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Posted by: SweetPealet at Mon Dec 14 14:45:31 2009  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by SweetPealet ]  
   

I have three box turtles that I rescued last spring crossing SC-31 in Myrtle Beach. I know that I probably should not have taken them home but they were definitely going to get squished trying to make it across 31 (its a new freeway straight through wetlands/and heavy forest). I saw at least 20 dead turtles during my commute throughout the spring and summer.

They have been doing really well until the colder weather started. I have 10 acres in the country and a .25 acre area enclosed for my fig trees that I put the turtles in with a lot of mulch and vegetation. They really seemed quite happy hiding in the roots of the trees or under the mulch. When it got colder, one turtle immediately found a spot to hibernate and has been out of it for a least a month. The other two acted kind of lost like they didnít know where to hide because they werenít home. I got really nervous and brought them all in (including the sleepy one). They are now in an unheated closet without any lights. The temperature is around 60-70 degrees in there and I have them in a long plastic storage container with dirt, leaves and sphagnum moss. There is no window in the closet so I canít make it any colder for them. The sleepy turtle is still asleep. The other two are not too active ( I had been putting the light on in the closet during the day but they were pretty active when I did that, so I turned it off) but not hibernating and not really eating too much (if at all). I have lettuce and Box turtle food out for them, but I am not sure if this is a good idea or not. I have a water dish out and have been putting them in it periodically. I have also been spritzing them and trying to keep them hydrated.

I am so worried about them. I have a 20 gallon tank and a 15 gallon tank with proper lights, etc. but they hate being in it and I donít blame them. I donít want to hurt them and I regret not taking them across 31 myself. I only want the best for them. I will give them up, if you think it is vital or if you have any other ideas on proper care, I would greatly appreciate any suggestions. I know they are wild animals and it seems wrong to have them (even over winter) in my closet.

Sorry for the long post. I appreciate any advice you have.


   

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>> Next Message:  RE: Advice on Wintering box turtles - StephF, Wed Dec 16 17:09:25 2009