Written by Ivy
Jan 24 2023
If you see a snapping turtle crossing the road, what will you do? Do you know how to pick up and move a snapping turtle?
To pick up a snapping turtle,
Biting snapping turtles can be very dangerous. You can reduce any risk while picking up the turtle by providing a few more details. I am happy to have your support. Everything you need to know about picking up and handling a snapping turtle will be covered in this article.
Snapping turtles are a species that we know to be aggressive. However, if handled and treated gently, these turtles don't exhibit any offensive behavior.
When snapping turtles are handled roughly, it makes them stressed out and causes them to bite those who are closest to them. Do not underestimate these creatures' ability to attack. Turtles that snap can sever human fingers.
In light of this, I advise becoming familiar with proper turtle handling techniques. The method is very helpful if you are rearing a snapping turtle. Even if you don't have a snapping turtle of your own, you can use these techniques to reduce the possibility of an attack while handling one.
Snapping turtle young are quite tiny. The hatchlings can easily be handled because of their average size of 1.5 inches. It can even be done with just your thumb and forefinger.
Your thumb should first be placed on the baby snapping turtle's carapace, or upper shell. Next, place your forefinger between the hatchling's back legs and the plastron. Pick up the baby snapping turtle by giving a firm grasp with little pressure.
You should always handle and touch the hatchling with care and gentleness.
The baby snapping turtle ages by months and increases in size and weight. A young snapping turtle typically grows to be 3.5 to 5 inches long, sometimes even larger. To pick up the turtle with your thumb and forefinger is no longer a secure method.
Place your thumb on the back of the shell and your forefinger and middle finger underneath the turtle's back legs to help you gently grab it. Your fingers should be able to catch the turtle's tail. Then pick it up.
More weight than usual may be present in your young snapping turtle. If so, support the turtle with more fingers. There will be more room at the plastron to place fingers as the turtle gets bigger.
When handling the animal, don't take any chances. The snapping turtle's shell can become damaged with just one fall or slip.
The common snapping turtle has a length of 8 to 14 inches, occasionally 20 inches. Considering their size, you can infer their weight. The adult snapping turtle should not be picked up with one hand. When working with an adult snapper, you would require both of your hands.
Here is a step by step process showing the right way to pick up an adult snapping turtle:
Snapping turtles frequently get hit by cars as they cross the street. Due to the excruciating pain, the injured turtles are unable to move. If you see a snapping turtle that appears to be injured while you are traveling, you should always report it.
Remember that injured snapping turtles are more delicate. Therefore, you must exercise caution when handling or picking up the creatures. Here is how you can do the task:
Contact any emergency pet shelter or the state wildlife authority if the snapping turtle's condition is critical. Check out this article for detailed instructions on turtle rescue.
You already know how to pick up a snapping turtle if you've read this far. Here are a few bonus tips for you:
It's actually a fascinating sight to see snapping turtles cross the street. Ever wonder why turtles behave in this way?
Well, female snapping turtles are typically seen moving around the wetland. These turtles are typically either looking for a place to lay their eggs or making their way back home.
The young turtles or newly hatched turtles move away from their birthplace to any suitable living water source. Male snapping turtles also prowl the area looking for the ideal mate.
You know it's against the law to disturb turtles in the wild. The wildlife authority, however, actually encourages helping the snapping turtles cross the road. The experts advise moving the turtles precisely in the direction they're going by picking them up.
You might occasionally question the snapping turtle's direction. But be careful when changing your direction. Snapping turtles have a sense of direction and are obstinate creatures. The turtle will suffer if left going in the wrong direction.
The vicious biters known as snapping turtles. If you're not careful when picking up the turtle, you might get that nasty jaw bite. If a snapper bit you viciously, what would you do?
Do not panic, is my first piece of advice to you. It will not help to pull your hand off or to push the snapping turtle's mouth open. A snapping turtle becomes terrified when its jaws are forced open. It does this by making its jaw engravings deeper than before.
Waiting for the turtle to release its hold is preferable. Take a swift step back once the snapping turtle releases its bite. Immersing the snapping turtle in water also helps to loosen its jaw hold.
There is no doubt that a snapping turtle's bite hurts. However, it won't kill you. Warm water, soap, and antibacterial products should be used to clean the wound. The only thing the bite will leave behind is a bruise.
Put one hand on either side of the turtle's shell, in between the front and back legs, when picking up a large turtle. Lift the turtle from the surface with a firm grip. To reduce the risk of falling and prevent bites, keep its head and body downward. Placing the turtle on the chosen surface, box, or container is recommended.
Turtles that live in or near water make good kickers. They will kick you with their legs or at the very least scratch you if they touch you roughly. Typically, a turtle doesn't mind being gently touched.
You can pick up a baby turtle with your thumb and forefinger if you have one. Put your fingers on the upper and lower shells. Also, remember to treat the turtle with respect.
Keep in mind that handling the turtle excessively can stress it. Thus, you ought to give the turtle some space. If it is not necessary or the animal is not at ease, do not pick it up.
Make sure you are picking up a snapping turtle for the animal's safety in order to prevent further harm.
Compared to a common one, handling an alligator snapping turtle is more difficult. Lifting the turtle should always be done carefully. Avoiding hurting the turtle or yourself is the main objective in this situation.
When young snapping turtles travel from their nest to the body of water where they will live, people frequently come across them.
Most snapper hatchlings don't survive this journey.
They are frequently snatched up by predators or crushed by moving vehicles. Unfortunately, pregnant mothers mistake roadside embankments for the ideal place to build a nest.
Adult snapping turtles out of the water are usually gravid females looking for somewhere to lay their eggs.
Alternatively, they may be going back to the water after laying their eggs.
No turtle should ever be picked up by the tail.
Snappers should probably be handled by their tails because of the length of their tails and the potential danger of their bites.
The turtle you were trying to save may end up dead or permanently disabled if you lift it by the tail because doing so can cause serious spinal damage.
People often exaggerate the snapper's "powerful jaws" and strength.
Alligator snapping turtles bite with 158 N of force.
Common snapping turtles bite with 208 N of force.
Common toad-headed turtles have the strongest bites, measuring 432 N.
Humans can bite with a force between their second molars of 200 to 600 newtons (N), for comparison's sake.
There have been reports of snapping turtles biting off people's fingers, despite how low those numbers may seem. Stay safe!
Baby snappers DO bite, without a doubt. Fortunately, these turtles can't bite deeply enough to cause serious harm when they're young. It may still hurt, so it's best to stay away from any snapper's bitey end.