Where to get a box turtle?

I would really like to get a box turtle. I live in the eastern US. I know you used to be able to get them in pet stores but you can not now. I cant spend more than 50 dollars on the turtle itself. I have looked in Craigslist and Ebay classifieds, but have not found anything.

If anyone has suggestions I would appreciate it.


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Go for a hike around pods and streams. Your bond to find one in the wild.
nurdee1 (author)  mpilchfamily5 years ago
I have tried that and not found one. I also would rather get one that is tame so it will be happier.
There is no such thing as a tame Turtle.
Indeed. You can take a turtle out of the swamp, but  you can't take the swamp out of the turtle!  Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
Kiteman5 years ago
Box turtles should not be kept as pets, except by experts. They are fragile animals with complex needs. In many states, it is illegal to collect box turtles from the wild, and they cannot be kept in captivity without a permit.

Additionally, all species of box turtle are, to varying extents, endangered. This is largely down to the pet trade, where tens of thousands of animals are collected from the wild, half of which die from the stress of captivity before they even reach pet stores.

Find a different pet.
nurdee1 (author)  Kiteman5 years ago
I am happy to get a permit. And I would rather get a tame one instead of capturing one from the wild.
Kiteman nurdee15 years ago
That's rather the point - the pet shops don't breed tame ones, they collect them from the wild.
I have this hazy memory of seeing live turtles, of some kind, for sale on the Chinese district, of the city of San Francisco, in the Former United States, although that was about 15 years ago. I think they were being sold as unprepared food, but I'm sure the turtlemongers don't care what you do with them once you get 'em home. You know you could keep them as pets if you want to.

I have also heard rumors of turtles, that people buy as pets, that eventually get flushed down the toilet into the sewers, where they can come into contact with mutagenic industrial waste, and grow into freakish monsters.  Although these stories of "mutant turtles"  are probably just that, you know, stories.
nurdee1 (author)  Jack A Lopez5 years ago
Good idea, but unfortunately I am not near a big enough city to have a Chinese district.
Info on reptile clubs and shows, some of which might be in your area:


Clubs and expos are a good place to purchase reptiles from hobbyist breeders AND to get information on how to properly keep them.

There are non-endangered captive-bred species of turtles and tortoises available from breeders and petshops. One of those would be a much better choice.

Please research whichever species you chose BEFORE you buy one. Find out what it needs to be kept healthy and happy, how long it will live, and how big it will get. Some get huge and live longer than a person. If you can't afford the caging and maintenance, and the occasional vet bill, you cannot afford the pet.

Turtles and Tortoises for Dummies is an excellent reference: