Ornate wood turtle?

erinbug

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BA2F1D6F CCDD 421E A5C9 51216E6BD920 3EB05D54 4E15 4060 A7FB A8F9229E70F7 67D7FBDA AA38 4B5D A807 CE21109F20E6 488E2A72 5545 4210 AC51 BACA2FE793D0 Found this little guy in a box on the side of the road the other day. I believe he’s a Central American Painted/Ornate Wood Turtle? Think he’s a he but unsure, don’t think he’s quite grown yet. I took him home and got him set up in a 5ft tub with coconut fiber, cypress mulch, and bark. Large water pan, and trying to feed him a mix of aquatic turtle pellets & romaine/carrot/apple salad with calcium. He hasn’t eaten any yet or gone in the water. 30W UVB lamp, 50W ceramic heat lamp, and a halogen day bulb for now, just what I had on hand.

His shell looks a little beat up but otherwise okay. Two concerns are that he has some white stuff directly above his eyes (haven’t been able to get a very close look but seems potentially crusty). Also, sometimes when he moves his head there’s a strange sort of clicking noise? I have no idea what it could be.
 

Toddrickfl1

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Yes that's a central American wood turtle.
 

erinbug

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So I've had this guy almost 5 days now and he hasn't eaten anything. I'm getting a little concerned - all he's done is burrowed and stayed under the substrate. His head has been out and he seems very alert and likes to watch me, but I can't get him to eat anything. I've tried turtle sticks, all sorts of fruits and veggies, bananas, freeze dried crickets/mealworms, and most recently live nightcrawlers. Any suggestions? Should I take him to the vet?
 

Yvonne G

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The fact that he's not eating is probably why you found him in a box on the side of the road. Someone was able to withstand the thought of him dying a slow death at the side of the road rather than see him starve and die a slow death in their aquarium.

Try setting him up in a large plastic tub on a slant so you can have water down at the lower end and dry land at the upper end. Then offer him live food, night crawlers, etc. something that wiggles. I don't keep this species, and don't know much about them, just what I've read, so I have no real words of wisdom for you.

I found this through my friend Google. Don't know how good it is:


Captive Housing:

A low, somewhat simple enclosure, such as a glass tank measuring 48 by 24 by 16 inches tall will provide space for two adults. Smaller enclosures can be used for hatchlings up to subadults. Coconut coir and cypress mulch are both good substrates because they hold humidity well without resulting in a sopping wet enclosure.

Wood turtles are semi aquatic and enjoy soaking in water for hours on end. Provide a “swimming hole” at one end of the enclosure by inserting a glass or plastic partition to create both a land area and a water area, each with a depth of about 6 inches. Turtles should be able to access both easily. A hole can be drilled into the bottom of the water section to act as a drain when cleaning. Alternatively, a wide tray measuring up to 6 inches deep can be provided as a water area and can be lifted out for easy cleaning. Again, be sure turtles can enter and exit the water area easily.

Place a couple hides at the opposite end of the enclosure, even though turtles may ignore them and burrow into the substrate instead. If they hear you approaching the enclosure they will likely emerge from hiding to see what you’re up to.

Place an under-tank heater beneath the land portion of the tank, and keep it on 24/7. A heat lamp can be used over the hides to create a hot spot of about 90 degrees Fahrenheit, set to a 12-hour on/off cycle. Keep a UVB lamp over the top of the enclosure, as well, also set to a 12-hour on/off cycle.
To maintain humidity, use an automatic misting system, a fogger or hand sprayer. Mist the enclosure daily to maintain humidity at about 75 percent. Substrate should be damp, but not sopping wet.

Diet:

Wood turtles are omnivores and will eat just about anything. We feed ours greens, melons, berries and various fruits (they especially relish bananas). They also love crickets, roaches, night crawlers and pinky mice.
We also feed our wood turtles Zoo Med omnivore diet (tortoise and lizard food in a can), aquatic turtle pellets (dry), iguana food, box turtle pellets and canned monitor food.
Make sure that food is available every day, and alternate food items every few days so the turtles receive a nice variety.
Dust all food with a quality calcium and multivitamin supplement.

What’s Available:

Imported Central American wood turtles—the staple source of supply for years—are still available, but in much smaller numbers. The number of captive-bred specimens that is available is greater than ever before, however, and you can often find captive-bred hatchlings, subadults and adults at pet stores, reptile shows and through online dealers.

In my opinion, the Central American wood turtle is one of the smartest turtles in the world. Pets get used to handling and seem to recognize their owners, seeking them out for something neat to eat. Over time you will discover they are not shy and make very rewarding pets. This is a real winner!

Extra:

Although your Central American wood turtle enclosure may often look empty when the turtles are hiding, if they think you have food, they will reveal themselves, march across the enclosure to you and literally beg to be fed. They oh so love to eat.
 
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