Animal Stories - Ornate Box Turtle

Animal-World Information about: Ornate Box Turtle

   The western box turtle or Ornate Box Turtle is perhaps one of the most commonly available of all the box turtles!
Latest Animal Stories
Jaicee - 2008-09-30
You know, owning an ornate box turtle in Wisconsin is illegial, so I hope you all have a license!
Editor's Note: The Ornate Box Turtle has a wide range, it natural habitat is all across the great plains of the United States. As their numbers have been declining, they are listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, but in the lower risk category. Having declined dramatically in Wisconsin, they have been designated as an endangered and threatened species in that state. Interestingly, this is the state reptile for Kansas.

john - 2008-06-11
Hello. I live in Kansas where ornate box turtles and sliders run wild. Four years ago I found an ornate box turtle. I made a nice large outdoor pen for him and feed him mulberries and grasshoppers. Ever since he has been a great pet. He hibernates by himself in the winter in the outdoor pen and comes up early every April. (To Adrian, it would be best to loosen up some soil by its hideout and let it hibernate by itself.) Recently, I found a mate for him about his size. They mate together. If anyone has advice about breeding this type of turtle in its natural habitat, or if it's a good or bad idea to do this, please post something to let me know.

Adrian - 2007-08-13
I recently found a western box turtle on a street in a development in Albuquerque about 1/2 mile from the Bosque of the Rio Grande. I made a pen outdoors facing east with shade. He is strong and feisty with a very good appetite. I feed him by hand sometimes and I do take care to keep my fingers well back from his beak. He has adjusted well so far. I thought about releasing him but dogs often run free in the Bosque and there are coyotes and skunks as well. If anyone has advice about hibernation outdoors of this type of turtle I would appreciate the input. It can get fairly cold here at night but when the sun is up it is fairly comfortable. Temperatures can dip to the teens. Maybe he should winter indoors.

Ryan - 2007-08-05
hello, i live in washington state and i have a ornate box turtle named zoey. i got her a few years back along with 4 others. i was not educated very well on diseases and such things and when the others caught boot fly, i didn't know wat the heck to do. for 2 years i thought they were all dead until one summer i found her baskng in her out door pen. she is very hardy but eats almost nothing but meat(night crallers in particular)and occasionlly a blackberry or two. they are truly wonderful turtles, but make sure it has a large enough pen(28 sq feet minimum).

Theresa - 2007-04-10
I have one western box turtle as well as 6 adult easterns, 4 cross breeds western/eastern that I hatched as well as 2 russian tortoises. I find that the western is very sensitive to the climate on the east coast. He hibernates all winter with the other turtles. This is the first year that I did not have to bring him to the vet for a vitamin A shot. He is now in his 6th year. I have had him since he is a hatchling. To say that a western box turtle will not bite is not correct. I'm not sure if its because he relates fingers to food or he is defending himself
but he will lunge at any fingers or toes in his general area. You have to be careful when feeding him because even though he is small still his bite is painful. I can foresee him breaking the skin maybe this year! I find that the western and the crossbreeds will eat more fruit and veggies than the easterns which seem to eat mostly a carnivorus diet with few fruit and veggies. The most favorite food for all the box turtles is garden snails. They really love them and they eat the shells too which I would guess is a great source of calcium for them. Box turtles are great pets if you can keep them outdoors at least in the summer. They become anorexic if they are not happy with their surroundings