• Welcome! Are you interested in tortoises? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our community is the #1 place for tortoise keepers to talk online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your tortoise and enclosure, and discuss any tortoise topic with other tortoise keepers. Get started today!

Native turtle found

russian/sulcata/tortoise

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2014
Messages
8,369
Location (City and/or State)
Northern California, bay area
My father found a native western pond turtle in our yard, the turtle looks like a young male that is very malnourished. I’ve never encountered the only native species here in our yard, we live on top of a hill with the closest body of water being a man made pond s good 2 miles away.
IMG_1235.jpg
 

russian/sulcata/tortoise

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2014
Messages
8,369
Location (City and/or State)
Northern California, bay area
Wow! What a cool find. What's your plan? Will you release him after a good meal and a soak? Will you relocate him closer to water? Will you care for him for awhile?
Where I live it’s hard to find this species of turtle, but I do know that where some reside(at the end of a three mile hike). I’m going to keep him for a week or two because he is light as a feather than bring him there. But for now I’m gonna dig for worms and keep him away from contaminating my torts.
 

dmmj

The member formerly known as captain awesome
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
19,752
Location (City and/or State)
CA
The western pond turtle is protected. You can not keep one under any circumstances. Illegal to own, as for the worms. They are usually species specific, so they should cause you no harn. I agree do not eat the poop :)
 

russian/sulcata/tortoise

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2014
Messages
8,369
Location (City and/or State)
Northern California, bay area
The western pond turtle is protected. You can not keep one under any circumstances. Illegal to own, as for the worms. They are usually species specific, so they should cause you no harn. I agree do not eat the poop :)
In your opinion what should I do, should I release it immediately or try and get him to fatten up.
 

dmmj

The member formerly known as captain awesome
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
19,752
Location (City and/or State)
CA
Call fish and game and ask them. They will probably tell you to release it. (Best guess)
 

TammyJ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
2,824
Location (City and/or State)
Jamaica
I would release him as soon as you possibly can into a pond that has others like him.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
83,130
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
So immediately release him? I’m still wondering where he came from.
@russian/sulcata/tortoise

Hi Nick:

It's more than likely that someone was fishing or camping or whatever and found him in his native area and brought him home. Pond turtles are notoriously good at escaping. They can scale a 6' redwood fence.

Go ahead and de-worm him and then try to fatten him up a bit, then go hiking and take him to where you know a population of them exists. Good on you for trying to help this turtle.
 

Markw84

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
3,477
Location (City and/or State)
Sacramento, CA (Central Valley)
The Southern Pacific Pond Turtle Actinemys pallida, do wander great distances on land and I often have find them quite far from water. A wild turtle like this will often appear much thinner than what you see with commonly kept aquatic turtles. Many "pet" turtles would not survive well in the wild as they have so much meat on their body they cannot retract as fully into their shells as you see with this pond turtle.

It is too small to sex from what I see. Actinemys have quite long tails, both male and female. Many will think a female is male because of this. A male will normally develop a flatter shell with much more flaring of the posterior marginals. A males tail become quite long and thick.

Parasites/worms are a normal part of a turtle's gut flora. In the wild, densities normally stay in check as they wander quite a bit and are not confined where reinfection is a constant build-up. Some worm parasites are thought to actually aid in digestion and food movement through the gut.

I would immediately release the turtle. Actinemys are know to be one of the most skittish/nervous turtles whose flight reflex is one of their main survival characteistics. Keeping one around people in a confined area can diminish that and is not good for its long-term survival.
 

Markw84

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
3,477
Location (City and/or State)
Sacramento, CA (Central Valley)
Also - forgot to mention... Actineyms have very well developed scent gland that emits a very strong musk smell when disturbed. Just like the "stinkpot" - musk turtle. So that smell is quite normal for them and another survival mechanism we don't want one to become used to human interaction and lessen the amount they would use that reflex.
 

New Posts

Top