How to Care for Baby Snapping Turtles

Updated on May 30, 2019
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Alyssa is a turtle enthusiast and has experience caring for her own pet turtle.

Starting Out

Caring for a baby snapping turtle is not really hard; there's just a lot of time involved, and you need to make sure you create a good habitat and establish good practices to make sure your turtle lives a long time.

When a snapping turtle is a baby, it is very cute and hard to resist. However, they tend to get really large (up to 18 inches long and 86 pounds heavy!) and can be destructive or unhappy if placed in the wrong environment. The fact that they often live from 20 to 50 years (and can live more than 100 years) if cared for properly can be kind of scary to some people. Having a snapping turtle is quite a commitment, so think seriously before deciding if you want to keep one of these reptiles.

Things You Will Need

If you decide you want to keep a baby snapping turtle, here are some things that you will need:

  1. A tank. A 10-gallon fish tank would be perfect for now; however, when your turtle grows to be 8 inches long, you'll need to consider moving it outside or upgrading to a 55-gallon container. The baby turtles need an island to rest on, but adults don't.
  2. Sand and rocks (some nice big outside rocks would do. I don't use the tiny ones for fear my turtle might mistake them for food and choke on them). Line the tank with aquarium sand or smooth river rocks. When the turtle is young, it will need an island or a shallow flat stone for when it feels like basking in a warm spot.

  3. A heat lamp while they're young (unless you live in a warm sunny place and plan to keep your pet outside). Position the lamp over the shallowest area of the tank. Turtles don't make their own body heat and sometimes enjoy sunning themselves to regulate their temperature. They like it best around 82.5°F (28.1°C).
  4. Water (non chlorinated, just like fish tank water). The water in the tank should be shallow—about as deep as the length of your baby turtle's shell. Snappers are poor swimmers and can drown if the water's too deep.
  5. Filtration. If you don't have a filter, you'll have to change the water quite often. The bigger your turtle gets, the more gunk they make, so seriously consider installing a water filtration system.
  6. Time, care, and patience.

Building a Good Turtle Habitat

Whether you know it or not, your turtle likes to hide from you. It makes them feel safe and comfortable. There are several ways to build nice places for your turtle to hide whenever it does not feel safe. One way is to take a 20-ounce plastic bottle, clean it out really well, cut both ends off, and put it in the water. What I do is use the rocks and sand in the tank to build a cave. When you do that, the cave will feel more natural to the turtle. If you have the money and don't feel like doing it yourself, you can go out and buy a little cave from the store. Optionally, you can also get little fake plants, although I am not sure how the turtle would respond to them, and it might try to eat them.

Turtle Food

Food is one of the most important things for a turtle, but you must be careful not to overfeed or underfeed it. If it looks like its skin is unfolding out of the shell, then it is overfed. If it goes in its shell, and you can barely see it, then it is underfed.

Snapping turtles are omnivores and will eat a whole bunch of stuff. In the wild, they'll eat water plants, fish, frogs, pollywogs, newts, bugs, snails, worms, and snakes. They'll even eat a small mammal or a baby duck!

You'll probably just go to your local pet store to buy turtle food, minnows, worms, or crickets. The young ones are crazy about mealworms, guppies, and ghost shrimp. Turtles will also eat a variety of home food, including bread and bologna. Chicken, beef, turkey, and fish are all good, too. My turtle just loves bologna! If you have the time and patience, you can also go out and catch bugs for this little guy to eat and just put them in the water.

Even if you do buy the turtle food at the store, it's a good idea to give your turtle fresh food, too. Don't forget the vegetables! At least half of the turtle's food should be fresh and "green," as in lettuces and other greens.

Frequently Asked Questions About Snapping Turtles

How do you know if your turtle is a snapping turtle?

The common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) has a brown or black shell (aka a carapace) that is rough and ridged when it's young but gets smooth with age and a lighter-colored bottom (aka plastron). The mottled colors of the shell makes for great camouflage at the bottom of a pond. A snapping turtle can't hide as well as other turtles can, but it can move around more easily: On land, it raises its body up so that only its tail touches the ground. It has a largish head that's shaped like a triangle, a pointy nose, a large mouth, a curved beak that's shaped like a parrot's, and a very long saw-toothed tail. It has no teeth, but look out for that beak!

How big do they get?

On average, these turtles grow to have a shell that's about 10-12 inches long and weigh from 10 to 35 lbs., but some get larger. Some very fat captive snapping turtles get to be over 80 lbs.!

Why is it called a "snapping" turtle?

A snapping turtle won't attack a human unless threatened or provoked, especially if it's on land, but it can defend itself, and snapping is its best defense. It has very strong beak-like jaws and can move its head very far and fast. A snapping turtle can cause serious damage to a careless handler. The turtle might warn you with a hiss before it snaps.

How long will it live?

The lifespan in the wild is unknown, but in captivity, some snappers live 100 years. The average lifespan is 30 or 40 years.

Adult Snapping Turtle

Snapping turtles can grow up to or larger than this.
Snapping turtles can grow up to or larger than this. | Source

Growing Up

As your turtle grows up, he will get bigger! You should take this into consideration. There will be a time when you will either have to get the turtle a very big tank or hopefully you will have a pond near your house that it can live in.

However, you should never, ever release that turtle into the wild! It will not have the ability or the skill to survive. Plus, it can introduce pathogens, viruses, and bacteria into the wild (things your turtle has built resistance to but the wild turtles have not!), so don't do it!

The age of the dinosaurs was approximately 150 million years ago: 100 million years more recent than the first turtle [...] and humans evolved a mere short 3.5 million years ago.

— Susanne Kynast

Handling a Snapping Turtle

Some say that snappers are all snappy and will all grow up to be aggressive, but if handled often from a young age, they can become just as tame as other turtles. If you start when the turtle is still young, handling it often and trying to never hurt it, it will know you're its friend. Still, snapping turtles may snap! And they can reach their heads back a lot further than you can imagine. So no matter what great friends you and your turtle are, you need to be careful.

Never, never try to pick a snapping turtle up by its tail. This can seriously hurt the tail and damage its spine!

If you must lift your turtle, it's better to lift it by the shell, as close to the hind legs as possible.

Interesting fact: When snapping turtles are stressed, they spray a musky odor (sort of like a skunk)!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Brianna Camp 

        3 weeks ago

        I have had a baby snapping turtle and it has a rough black And brown shell. I have had it for about a year in a half. It is so cute and when I got it it wouldn't stop swimming so I named it Dori. The name is from finding Nemo. I love turtles! I have had 2 before Dori. They were box and paint turtles. Dori has been eating dried dead bug turtle food for about a year and just started eating worms. And Dori is the size of 2 quarters and I love her. Handle her a lot but I don't have a heater and I just now got a tank it is very small. Most of the stuff stated in your article I did not do or have. But now I know I need it. Your article was very helpful.

        Thank You!

      • profile image

        Trent 

        6 weeks ago

        Wanda keener!

        Bring it inside

      • profile image

        Wanda Keener 

        6 weeks ago

        What about winter time habitat

      • profile image

        Anna munilla 

        2 months ago

        i have a baby snaping turtle from the wild i dont know what to do!

      • profile image

        zoey randell 

        3 months ago

        i like turtles

      • profile image

        Neil 

        6 months ago

        I have a10 gal. Aquarium with 3 bady snappers they have been fighting should thay be seperated.

      • profile image

        Zada 

        6 months ago

        My boyfriend and I found a baby snappung turtle last summer. (He?) eats small fish, frogs, worms, romaine lettuce, and other greens. Occasionally he'll eat strawberries, raspberries, bananas, and peaches. I saw a comment that asked if they should have a companion, I'd say that if you have a large pond or something like that, that you're going to keep it in when it gets big it should be okay. However if it's in an aquarium I think it'd perfer to be the only one.. I hope this helps someone out, or answers some questions!

      • profile image

        Tucker 

        9 months ago

        I found an alligator snapper while I was lookin fo worms and crawfish. I have worms but no vegetables what veggies should I get him

      • profile image

        Sky 

        9 months ago

        Do they need a companion?

        Or should they stay alone

      • profile image

        gilly 

        9 months ago

        hey sisters

      • profile image

        Marcus Luther II 

        10 months ago

        I founded a snapping turtle

      • profile image

        Kota Stichter 

        10 months ago

        What types of Vegetables and fruit can a snapping turtle eat

      • profile image

        Tabitha 

        10 months ago

        I found a baby common snapper at work in the parking lot i think it wandered from the rain and the mini pool it was in dried up, i'm gonna try to relocate it on a day off this is super helpful. I just couldn't leave him in a gas station parking lot to get run over.

      • profile image

        Logan ware 

        10 months ago

        I found a baby snapping turtle and I’m gonna try to keep him as a pet,will he eat lettuce?

      • profile image

        Khasihowell 

        10 months ago

        I found a baby snapping turtle yesterday it's about the size of a 50 cent piece. How old do you think it is?is it still young enough to start holding it so it can get use to me

      • profile image

        Jamis 

        10 months ago

        my turtle won't eat please help

      • profile image

        Bobby spain 

        11 months ago

        I have a hatchling Florida snapping Turtle and I was just wondering how often does it need to be fed.

      • profile image

        Boxer 

        13 months ago

        Hi my turtle won't eat any thing please help me

      • profile image

        Korey 

        13 months ago

        Wat is u feeding it

      • profile image

        Jeff 

        13 months ago

        My turtle is not eating can you help me?

      • profile image

        Amie S. 

        13 months ago

        Just wanted to tell you thanks for your very helping snapping turtle care page!! I found one while digging in a puddle for tadpoles to raise, he has become one of the coolest and active pets I've ever had. No biting no hissing just has the greatest little attitude!! Thank you very very much!!

      • profile image

        Cara 

        13 months ago

        My friend found a baby snapping turtle and she was going to give it to me since she thinks i'm an "animal expert", but I've never had experience with turtles. I was wondering, how often do you feed it?

      • profile image

        Linda 

        13 months ago

        Found a baby snapper at my back door how would he if got there. I can't get him to eat can you help me

      • profile image

        Daisy 

        14 months ago

        I have a baby snapping turtle ,it is very cute but hard to take care of ,pet helpful.com is actually very helpful thanks.

      • profile image

        Tim 

        14 months ago

        Snapping turtles need meat! I like chicken breast boil it! Thay also love bologna and lobster delights

      • profile image

        Carla 

        14 months ago

        I have a baby snapping turtle in my pool. and he runs from me. Sometimes he disappears and i cant find him. He is very small but i don't know what to do with him. Any suggestions?

      • profile image

        yokal 

        14 months ago

        hello i found a little snapping turtle in my yard so my doesn't eat and i give it to him. Anyways do y'all respond or no cause i need an answer.

      • profile image

        ryca 

        16 months ago

        i also found a baby turtle

        and i dont know what should be

        feed in the baby turtle.

      • profile image

        Aaron 

        16 months ago

        I found a baby snapping turtle today and it was the end of the day before we figured out what it needs. Can we feed it grass till we can get turtle food?

      • profile image

        Christy 

        19 months ago

        We found a baby snapper in our yard. We have it inside and it keeps itself under the water most of the time. It doesnt seem to eat much at all. I have flakes, meal worms and pellets and they are still floating later in the day. Is this normal?

      • profile image

        joeaulenti@yahoo.com 

        20 months ago

        Thanks for the info, I have had my cst for 2.5 yrs now, and he hasn’t eaten in the last 4 days, I have been letting him spend night time hours out of the water, just the last few nights, since he has stopped eating, thinking maybe he is trying to hybernate, Wondering how to go about letting him do that but don’t know how to go sbout it, any info would be great, Thankyou

      • profile image

        Hailey 

        20 months ago

        this was really helpful because i just got a wild snapping turtle (saved it from winter that is comming soon)

        i didnt know what to feed him or do with him so ye thxs

      • profile image

        Sam 

        20 months ago

        How often do you feed it

      • profile image

        Lane 

        20 months ago

        They also like rabbit food

      • profile image

        Gillian 

        21 months ago

        Should the little turtle get excersize? Please forgive this question, my man keeps saying she needs to stretch her legs

      • profile image

        Seth 

        21 months ago

        Mr. Snappy pappy.

        What cat said was helpful. Here in mass you must have a permit to keep a snapper. Something I only know because my son and found a baby on our back pourch... We made a nice habitat for the little guy. Then I started looking on line for what we would need to help him grow healthy and came across the Mass state laws. So we are holding on to him till I have a nature museum or some place that will care for him....

        It is good that cat said that so maybe others will know.....

        So.....

        Back off!!

      • profile image

        0809 

        22 months ago

        No that's not the proper way to hold a snapping turtle. Never use the snapping turtle tail to hold or use for leverage, it is harmful to their spine and could possibly paralyzed the turtle. Just hold them behind their back feet.

      • profile image

        Zathura 

        23 months ago

        Whoever this author is, they shouldn't be advocating the feeding of grocery store meat....especially bologna. Chicken and turkey are fine in small, infrequent amounts (cooked), but beef isn't, unless it's liver or heart, and processed meats like bologna are DEFINITELY not okay! (They're too fatty, and snappers aren't meant to process mammal fat like we do.)

        If you found this article while looking up how to care for your new snapping turtle, look in a few different places as well.

      • profile image

        Mr. Snappy Pappy 

        23 months ago

        Cat and nanouk you both have no idea what you are talking about.

        Please refrain unless you have something intelligent to say.

      • profile image

        Nanouk 

        23 months ago

        Have you ever disected a turtle? Picking them up by the tail isn't that damn bad and its the best way to handle a wild one..

        Also why release when you can eat?

      • profile image

        Cat 

        2 years ago

        You should not remove turtles from the wild. This is illegal in many states and provinces and has a serious negative impact on the wild populations, which are already in serious decline due to road mortality and loss of habitat. While you might feel like you are helping them, in reality you are doing serious damage.

      • profile image

        Rachel 

        2 years ago

        My babygirl got a snapping turtle what kind of water should wr use thank you

      • profile image

        Miriam 

        2 years ago

        How can you tell if it's dead because I think mine is dead

      • profile image

        Josh 

        2 years ago

        I can't believe this comment section. Over half of these people don't know what punctuation is.

      • profile image

        KittenCat2000x 

        2 years ago

        Kylik I have two baby snapping turtles

      • profile image

        KittenCat2000x 

        2 years ago

        I have a male and female baby snapping turtles are they ok to live with each other

      • profile image

        Mendy 

        2 years ago

        Can 2 baby snappers (male and female) live together. They are both very small.

      • profile image

        PrideofPurvis 

        2 years ago

        can alligator snapping turtles eat blueberries?

      • profile image

        Kitten 

        2 years ago

        Hi I love snapping turtles and mine bite me and will they eat strawberries

      • profile image

        Yay donuts 

        2 years ago

        It's very nice of you to help everyone with caring for your turtle alycat0092

      • profile image

        tylik 

        2 years ago

        Im 13 years old and i dont want to pay for a baby snapping turtle but i have a creek in my back yard how do i find one. i already have every thing to take care of it but i cant find one if i dont find one this month ill haft to pay for and dont want to do that please help me

      • profile image

        turtle lost 

        2 years ago

        Jim as the turtle matures it's under shell will become more defined if male it's under shell will have a slight umm dent which makes it easier for it to mate you want to in the future if you get some more if female more of a flat/poking out under shell if you do decide to breed though make sure you have a place you can let her roam but not run off so she can lay them don't go check leave her for awhile sometimes they fake lay eggs if they feel threatened and if they don't have some where to lay them she will die

      • profile image

        Jim trout 

        2 years ago

        I found a hatchling snapper last September. I'm a heavy equipment operator and was gonna backfill a trench that was excavated the day before. I saw something moving near the drainage pipe and recognized a very small snapping turtle. I brought him/ her home and the little turtle has been doing OK. His/ her name is Scub...short for scuba. How do you differentiate the sex? What's the best diet and optimum environmental temperature during their hibernate months if in captivity?

        Please help Scub.

        Thanks,

        James D. Trout

      • profile image

        Joanna 

        2 years ago

        Found two baby snapper, there are hibernating right now, so I brought them home and put them in a safe place. Can't wait to meet them when spring arrives. We have had our pond ready for seven months now. However they are both way too small for the pond. In the mean time, we shall stock up of the thing they needs to survive. So I'll keep some updates for y'all. Peace✌

      • profile image

        Brooke 

        2 years ago

        This article make it sound easier than it is to raise a snapper.. always consider 10 gallon per inch of shell that is the minimum they get very larg and I would recomend getting a big tank to start (mine is 150 gallons) when my turtle reaches about 10-15 inches I plan on making an outdoor pond for him he is currently 5 inches in shell length they eat a lot! Like it is very hard to satisfy them and mine is on a diet of pinkey rats and a variety of different pellets they CAN NOT live in a small tank when he was a hatchling he was in a 15 gallon tank for about 2 months don't wast your money on small tanks because you will upgrade often go straight to the larger size tank it will save you a lot of money

      • profile image

        Oscar124 

        2 years ago

        Can you make a small, man made pond for these animals? If so, would recommend a mud bottom?

      • profile image

        Gracie 

        2 years ago

        can you set them free if they start to get to big for you?

      • profile image

        lee 

        3 years ago

        And is hide place indispensable to baby snapping turtle?

      • profile image

        lee 

        3 years ago

        Is lettuces and green vegetable good food?

      • profile image

        renee wang 

        3 years ago

        My snapping turtle's name is Tina, and she is about 6 months old. I feed her a bit of fish and pork every day. She won't eat vegetables, so can you help me how to get her to eat veggies?

      • profile image

        Brian 

        3 years ago

        I have a 32 year old, 75 pound snapping turtle and he is one of the best pets i have ever had, he is a huge gentle giant, I also have 3 dogs and he acts just like them he walks around the house with them he plays with them outside, he looks at himself in the mirror, he watches TV. If you decide to get a snapping turtle get it when it's just hatched, because if you want it to be gentle and nice and so it doesn't snap at you, handle it when it's very little and never hurt it, if you do that it should be nice for the rest of its life.

      • profile image

        Amy 

        3 years ago

        Do turtles live better by themselves or with more turtle?

      • profile image

        Lisa 

        3 years ago

        Several years in a row I have found baby alligator snapping turtles outside my apartment building and I have caught and released them in a safer environment. But anyone that is wanting to keep turtles as pets needs to understand that they have to have the right environment and it can be expensive to a novice. The proper lighting, water filtration, food, supplements, and housing because if they are kept properly they grow fast and a 10 gallon tank may be fine now but they will outgrow that in just a year or two.

      • profile image

        True Reptile Lover 

        3 years ago

        Your photos mix common snappers and alligator snappers together. Also, when you advise that an adult should be "moved outside," you give no recommendation about where to relocate. I think you should advise that snapping turtles are wild animals and should not be in an aquarium or cage in a backyard. Leave the turtles alone.

      • profile image

        charissa 

        3 years ago

        thak you and you are the best for theme.

      • profile image

        Tooky 

        3 years ago

        I used to have one

      • profile image

        note 

        3 years ago

        i love this

      • profile image

        Joshua Omara 

        3 years ago

        Got a baby snapper myself and he or she idk IT loves the fresh watter/air Snips is the name Dosnt seem to eat much but I give it lettis, bread, lil bit of ground beef, bugs and even organic veggies. Snips likes the fresh air in the morning after a night in the tank. I just let the fella crawl around 4 a lil bit Its really cute.

      • profile image

        Linessa 

        3 years ago

        You are all right, sorry Aly, but that is a map turtle. But your information on snapping turtles is correct. My baby snapping turtle's name is Squirt. Here he is

      • profile image

        glenco 

        4 years ago

        Found a badass today he's a little guy but he was pounding down a worm got a cement plastic mixing tub set up a spot to swim,eat,sun an bugs,looks like Tigg is a keeper.....to much. SOA

      • profile image

        Jake 

        4 years ago

        I found a baby snapping turtle

      • profile image

        Kim Edgecomb 

        4 years ago

        I have a baby snapper and it's doing really great. I dig fish worms for it, and cut them into little bite size pieces. When I clean it's tank, I use water from Walmart. Sometimes I get it out and hold it.

      • profile image

        megan 

        4 years ago

        they are so cute

      • profile image

        dstrong 

        4 years ago

        I just found a baby aligator snapper earlier today when i was grooming my horses and im going to give it to my biology professor as a class pet

      • profile image

        ballSackLicker 

        4 years ago

        Turtles are yummy in my bum

      • profile image

        nabichu 

        4 years ago

        thank you for giving these

      • profile image

        Austin marr 

        4 years ago

        I have a lil problem my turtle neck is bent and it wont eat

      • profile image

        Leah Gray 

        4 years ago

        This site rely helped me take care of my turtle

      • profile image

        budamane 

        4 years ago

        I have a baby alligator snapping turtle and my son loves it. I feed it goldfish.

      • profile image

        bob 

        4 years ago

        hello I caught a turtle

      • profile image

        ddmc 

        4 years ago

        sally101, You do not have a snapping turtle. It sounds like a painted turtle.

      • profile image

        sally101 

        4 years ago

        yesterday I found a baby turtle in one of my chairs. My dog brought it home from the lake. how do you know if it a girl or boy. Also if it has orange/red stripes on it is it a snapping turtle?

      • profile image

        kingnothing71us 

        4 years ago

        I just found a little baby snapping turtle in my yard. My wife and I thought it was dead because he wasn't moving. I watched him and saw his eye open so I brought him inside and put him in a little bowl with water. He is swimming around now. I will be taking him to my neighbors pond tomorrow, where he most likely came from, to release him. If anyone reads this soon, could you give me your opinion on if there are probably more babies around? I don't want to step on them or run over them in my vehicles.

      • profile image

        tamika 

        4 years ago

        Wat do they mostly eat

      • profile image

        Levi 

        4 years ago

        I had caught 2 baby snapping turtles where I normally fish and I love their company and they are fast. They are named stefano and bart

      • profile image

        Angela 

        4 years ago

        A snapping turtle laid about 50 eggs outside near my wood shed. My daughter and I watched and waited. When they started to hatch we put them in a large bin with dirt, grass, water, and earthworms. After two days all of them were hatched and 38 of them lived. I have a slow flowing river in my back yard. We took them down to the river and released them next to it. Hoping that most would live. BTW Shelly DEF does not look like a snapper. I have been around them all of my life. My father used to catch them and release them into less human populated areas. Snapping turtle shells are not as flat as Shelly's seems to be.

      • profile image

        nyasia 

        5 years ago

        Thank you and they really eat biology

      • profile image

        kabriana 

        5 years ago

        Can they eat fish food?

      • profile image

        kabriana 

        5 years ago

        My baby snapper is like an inch I Want to know how to take care of it like what to feed it actually its like a cent.

      • profile image

        victoria 

        5 years ago

        In Aug 2012 my son found a baby snapping turtle about 1 inch long, we feed him good he seems happy but the problem is he has never grown not at all. Im wondering if this is normal?

      • alycat0092 profile imageAUTHOR

        alycat0092 

        5 years ago from Texas

        It's best to give them a varied diet of animal and plant material...fish, insects, worms, aquatic plants, store bought turtle pellets, veggies and fruit. The more variety the better.

      • profile image

        jgreen 

        5 years ago

        my son found a baby snapping turtle n he wants to keep it.. I just want to know what tgey eat does anybody know..?

      • profile image

        jgreen 

        5 years ago

        what do baby snappin turtles eat..?

      • Ashlie Gordon profile image

        Ashlie Gordon 

        5 years ago

        If you could please write me back asap i would apprechiate it...email me please satanandsweetz666@gmail.com

      • profile image

        ashlie gordon 

        5 years ago

        I have a question... If u have a baby snapper can u leave it outside in40 degree weather or will it die.....and how do u know the difference between dead and hibernating.....please someone answer me on this bec I need to know.....he was fine yesterday and today he moved little but won't open his eyes...I now have him inside in his own tank and with a heat lamp but I'm scared he's dead.....

      • profile image

        turtle hunter 

        7 years ago

        Really looks like a map turtle to me. I have baby snappers and that's not one...no offense.

      • profile image

        lindsey 

        7 years ago

        i caught one named him spike he is really sweetbut will he bight me he is ass tiny as yours

      • mariekbloch profile image

        mariekbloch 

        8 years ago

        Hi alycat! Welcome to Hubpages.

        I liked most of your hub, but just a few things. No UV-B light? From my understanding, all turtles need amounts of sunlight for health. Bologna is okay once in a great while, like a treat, but I would not make a consistent diet out of that. Live bugs are great, and vegetables! Bread... again, a treat.

        I also disagree with your last claim that the snapping turtle does not have the survival skills to live on its own after captivity. They are among the oldest animals on this planet, and reptiles are not like mammals who depend on their mothers.

        Sorry your first comment is from a nitpicker. I just really care about these animals.

        Shelly is a cutie, but are you sure that's a snapping turtle? It looks more like a map turtle to me. What kind is he/she?

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