Box turtle found in back yard


New Member
Sep 14, 2021
Location (City and/or State)
Chapel Hill NC
We live in a suburban, wooded area in Chapel Hill with Eastern Box turtles. We have a large, fenced yard and a dog. We've recently found a box turtle (on two occasions) in the back yard. This is native habitat, but I'm concerned about the dog and, also, the ease with which the turtle can access necessary resources. You see, even though we found the turtle in the yard -- and the best advice is usually to leave turtles where you find them -- it is possible that the turtle came into our yard when our fence was left open, which we do when there is heavy rain (there is an ephemeral stream in the yard that flows under the fence). My dog is not to be trusted with small animals; I have no illusions about that.

So: what should I do? Put it back into the yard, assuming it can dig under the fence if it wants to. Or put it outside the fence in an unrestricted area but which might not be its familiar home range.