Ornate box?

Kristi V

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Jun 29, 2015
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Hello, this is my first post after doing quite a bit of google and forum reading. I was given this little guy by my neighbor, who got it from a friend, and was told he was a redfoot before seeing him. Upon getting him and doing some homework I believe he is an ornate box?

In my reading I've found that Ornate's are listed as endangered in IL and therefore illegal to keep as pets. This is where I'm asking for help. I've been around reptiles for years and I'm confident this guy has been captive for a while as we can pet his head, he's never closed up in his shell, will take fruit from your hand, and in the 3 weeks I've had him has never acted aggressive once. Is this normal behavior for an ornate? We dont have any forest where I live in town, and have a hard time just letting him go in a random wooded area because of his extremely passive behavior.

I'm experienced with snake and lizard care, but never had a turtle/tortoise. I have no issues keeping and setting up a table for him but also dont want to get into legal trouble for keeping him. Any input is much appreciated!

IMG_20150603_114010617.jpg IMG_20150611_185428617.jpg IMG_20150617_184454193.jpg
 
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Yvonne G

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It is indeed an ornata. I've tried to look up the Illinois regs regarding keeping an ornata, but Google hasn't been very helpful. I suggest you call the state department of game and fish and as them about it. You don't have to mention that you actually have one, just ask about the regulations.

You're correct, this is NOT a good candidate for release. It would probably die. If you find out you absolutely cannot keep it, a turtle rescue would be the best bet.
 

Gillian M

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A very warm welcome to the forum.

A gorgeous little tort - GOD bless.
 

MichaelaW

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I also keep box turtles in Illinois and per the Illinois fishing regulations for 2015, you can't possess any endangered or threatened species in Illinois without a permit. The ornate box turtle is listed as threatened in the state of Illinois. I guess you could apply for a permit. If you are unable to keep the turtle, I would be interested in taking it if I can get a permit. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. Hope this helps. It is beautiful specimen of a Terrapene Ornata!
 
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Kristi V

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Jun 29, 2015
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Well I finally got in contact with a friend of a friend that works with tort rescue and he confirmed it was illegal to own without a permit (as stated above). So tonight he will be taking the little guy to a rescue since he is a little too tame to be released into the wild. I sure will miss him, he was a neat little guy with a lot of personality :-(
 
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