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RESCUED WILD VERY SMALL BOX TURTLE IN WINTER, PLEASE HELP

Discussion in 'American box turtles' started by turtlenewbi, Jan 4, 2019.

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  1. turtlenewbi

    turtlenewbi New Member

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    I need help with saving and not killing a very small 3 toed box turtle. Either my dog dug her up or due to water standing where it never has before, I found her 4 days ago. I have read lots online and so now I am very confused. I do not intend to keep her. Was just wanting to save her from the winter and then let her go.

    Can someone give me advise? I've read enough to be a danger to her, especially not knowing any thing about bromating. From what I've read, the young ones aren't very good at it? She is 1 1/2" wide x 2 1/2" long - if this helps with determining her age. She was active at first. I've submerged her in warmish water the 1st 2 days. She is not interested in food. Third day she burrowed down what little she could. Not knowing what to do, I left her alone, just misting the container with warm water for humidity. Today she has peeked her head out and her eyes are opened at times, but she has not moved. I know from reading the confusing info I am not setup for her to survive.

    What should I do under this emergency situation? Where do I start now, 4 days after bringing her in?
  2. zovick

    zovick Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    When the weather warms up this weekend, put the turtle back where you found it. It is programmed to deal with the vagaries of the weather. It is not programmed to wake up from hibernation yet. If you keep it from hibernating again (or from just having a very slow metabolic rate till spring really gets here) by keeping it inside your home where it is warmer than outdoors now, it may well starve to death before it decides to eat.

    I am in north GA and it is supposed to get close to 65 degrees over the weekend. I think your weather should be similar.
  3. turtlenewbi

    turtlenewbi New Member

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    Yes, it is supposed to warm to about 55. And all I need to do is put her back outside?
  4. zovick

    zovick Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Yes, that is what I would do. Put it back as closely as possible to where you found it as soon as you can do so. Keeping it inside in a warmer temperature (than it would be experiencing outdoors) too long at this time of year will speed up its metabolic rate and it will burn up its food reserves before it wakes up enough to eat.
  5. mark1

    mark1 Well-Known Member

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    young turtles die all the time by picking poor spots to hibernate , or leaving one during a warm spell and not finding another appropriate spot before the weather turns ……… someone with experience would have no problem waking that turtle up to thinking it's spring in January or February ……. the advice to put it back out is not bad advice , i'd take a shovel find a higher south facing slope up against a log or wall , loosen the soil down 18 inches pile up a couple feet of leaves and put her under it , maybe an inch or so into the dirt ……. i'd actually think it'd be good to do when the temp is in the 30-40 degree range and she's a little lethargic , so she stays down and doesn't wander off , as it gets colder she'll go deeper on her own …… your ground is probably pretty cold ,if she's buried under a lot of leaves and in contact with the ground she may stay down no matter what the air temp ….hibernacula not only stay warmer in the cold , they stay colder in the warm …...
    Pastel Tortie and Turtulas-Len like this.
  6. turtlenewbi

    turtlenewbi New Member

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    If I go out now and prepare a place, per my weather, when would to best time:
    Temp is 48 now
    by 9pm will be 40
    low 6am tomorrow 35
    by 9am 40
    noon 54
    with high @ 3pm of 60

    It should not take me but about an hour to get it ready. It will be 45 and getting dark when ready, which is not a problem for me. Nor is it a problem to wait until middle of night, what ever would give her the best chance. What time would you put her out? And should I move her to cooler area while getting it ready?
  7. mark1

    mark1 Well-Known Member

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    put him in a box of leaves and dirt , leave him outside ,35 won't hurt him , put him in you garage for the night as long as it's not heated . tomorrow at 40 he'll be lethargic , bury him under the leaves in contact with the ground , it should stay pretty cold under a bunch of leaves , he will most likely remain pretty lethargic and not emerge ………. not letting him warm up to much was good advice also , imo …… what your doing is a really good hibernacula , if he stays with it he should do fine ……. if he doesn't that nature …….
  8. turtlenewbi

    turtlenewbi New Member

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    Have picked her place (it is a girl), moved her to outdoors for now. Will put her in unheated garage for night. And move her to spot in AM with temp at 40, say a little prayer and place her as you say. Thanks. Got to get at it.
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