New Baby Eastern Box Turtle


New Member
Mar 29, 2022
Location (City and/or State)
Wall Twp, NJ
Hi everyone! I'm here for some advice!!

This past Sunday my husband found a baby Eastern Box Turtle in a tiny hole near our pool and knew that the temp was dropping down to 20 that night so he brought it inside. Luckily I had a ton of stuff for housing a reptile so I was mostly prepared to set up a 20gal long for it.

Here are some pics of what I have going on right now. Currently the temp is set to stay around the low 70's and the humidity is running between 40% and 60%, I try to mist frequently. I also set up a smaller paint tray liner with some medium sized river pebbles and a repti filter to run periodically for cleanliness. It's shallow enough for it to walk and there is easy escape with a bridge I put in. I know that the babies need to stay moist, I have repti soil as well as regular dirt from outside mixed together. I also added some moss to retain some moisture and a coconut hide surround with moss. Added some moss inside the hut too.

I feel like as far as the tank goes this is pretty darn good but my concern is it eating. It doesn't want any worm or commercial food I have offered so far. I understand that it's still new to it's home as well which could play a role in the not eating.

I live in NJ so as far as I know it is legal to keep EBTs and I do see bigger ones in my yard yearly (we live at the edge of some wetlands). I've kept aquatic turtles before but not semi-aquatic so this is a new game for me.

Can someone just tell me I'm on the right track here lol. I leave for Disney in two weeks and my mom is coming to look after all of my pets. I just want to know that I can get this little guy to eat something and not die when I'm gone.


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Active Member
Nov 2, 2020
Location (City and/or State)
Please return them to where you found them. They are a wild animal and are adapted to your climate. Keeping them will do more harm then good.

jeff kushner

Well-Known Member
Jul 24, 2020
Location (City and/or State)
North of Annapolis
Welcome to the club!! I won't debate the "should you have", b/c I'm more interested in that little guy look up Danilynn, no not at the ceiling, look up at the Sticky's and the you'll see the care sheets.....they are very good too!

FWIW; the baking dish with the bridge & pump isn't likely to work well...... although your idea is good. Your little guy won't know that he's supposed to stay on the bridge and if he goes over the side, he may end up upside-down, in the water. A shallow dish, changed once or twice daily works pretty well for my little girl....

Good luck and check out those care sheet threads...a world of good info in them!



Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
May 29, 2014
Location (City and/or State)
Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
Like Jeff, a lot depends on whether you plan to keep this little Boxie for ever? Or, are you just giving it a safe harbor from the hole in your yard.

Temperatures in our area - the greater NJ, Maryland, Delaware are definitely reptile friendly with temps getting well into the 70s & 80s. The ground is warming, bugs are out, plenty of ground cover starting to grow.

It sounds like you live in an area where it would be very easy to get it back into the “wild”. If so, id do it quickly so it doesn't get accustomed to the Holiday Inn b&b you have set up.

Anyhow…good luck.

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