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Habitat loss and nesting activity increases the chances you might meet a wild RES. There are possible scenarios in which you may encounter a wild RES and wish to take action. Any action is optional. For instance, it is up to you if you want to help a nest survive since most wild nests do not. The RES is not an endangered or threatened species and you may decide to let nature decide what happens. I do recommend helping an injured turtle since there are options to offer care. Do be careful when handling wild animals. There is no reason to expect them to be hospitable and they may be even more dangerous if injured. Please think ahead and take every measure to be careful.

Found Eggs or Hatchlings

If you find eggs or a nest near your house, you must not touch or move them. When possible you should protect them from other people and predators with a wire cage or wire bucket. It should be regularly checked to see if the nest is still protected and that the eggs have not hatched. Once hatched, the hatchlings should make their way towards their nearest water source. Like turtle eggs, hatchlings do have many predators and you can help bring them to their habitat if they become lost or stray away.

Found a Healthy Turtle Nearby

It would be best to leave this turtle alone. It may be searching for an area to nest or it may be in search of a new habitat. If you know where that turtle originated from, you might want to return it there to release it. If you know that its previous habitat is unsuitable, you may want to contact a re-homing organization or rescue center to relocate this turtle. If it has strayed to a dangerous area, such as a road, then return it to the appropriate habitat or place it on the other side of the road in the direction it was heading.

Found a Sick or Injured Turtle

A good idea would be to take it to a rescue center or a vet. Let the vet know it's a wild turtle and they may administer free care, but it would likely not be returned to you. Remember, proceed with caution to prevent harm to yourself or to worsen existing injuries.

Came Across a Turtle in the Wild

Observe it if you wish to, but that is about it. Local laws vary and it may be illegal for you to remove it from the wild. If you have captured a wild RES, you should release it immediately. Wild animals do not adapt well to captivity despite your intentions. Captive RES are readily available. If you need to provide food for a wild RES, you should look into what they would normally consume in their normal habitat, such as insects and aquatic vegetation.

Related Topics: Veterinary Listings / Rescues

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This page updated: 2011/01/28 Copyright © 2005-2011 Red Ear Slider. All rights reserved.