Do Eastern Box Turtles Bite? The Answers You Need

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do eastern box turtles bite

Are you planning on owning an Eastern box turtle or have come across it while camping or spending time outside? It’s common to see these turtles to own as a pet or see them roaming around in yards or roads. But do Eastern box turtles bite?

They do but fortunately, it isn’t as scary as you think! Read on to learn more about how Eastern Box turtles bite.

Do Eastern Box Turtles Bite?

Yes, an Eastern box turtle bites but don’t expect it to be painful, as they have no teeth. But they may bite hard enough to inflict some pain on a small child’s finger!

Not to worry though, as box turtles are generally harmless animals, only biting for a reason.

Why Do Eastern Box Turtles Bite?

Turtles will not bite without reason!

They bite when they feel threatened and its first line of defense is to withdraw to their shells to protect themselves. The shell will then close tightly and protect its soft parts of the body. They will continue to stay in their shell until they feel safe, then walk away afterward.

If you or a child has been touching it and carrying it around, there’s a chance it will bite. Even a brush of a finger can cause them to bite, thinking you’re a predator.

Besides this, carrying and touching it too much can put them under extreme stress. It will cause them to panic, bite, and even claw, which causes some pain. This won’t only affect your hands, but it negatively affects their health as well.

So rather than trying to carry or touch it when you see one, leave it be. Observe it from a distance and give it the space to move around and to safer, calmer spaces. Keep your children away from it, as it might feel more painful if box turtles bit younger children.

Can I Keep Them As Pets?

Because they bite, should I still consider them as a pet?

Unfortunately, no, these turtles do NOT make ideal pets. It can be against the law in some states. Besides this, they require specific long-term care and maintenance, as they can live for over 50 years.

Furthermore, they may be a health hazard, carrying certain bacteria. So if you were bitten by an Eastern box turtle, be sure to wash your hands after to be on the safe side.

Learn more about the Eastern box turtle from this informative video:

Wrapping It Up

Box turtles are generally harmless creatures but they do bite if threatened or attacked. As long as you wash the affected area afterward, there’s nothing to worry about. While they don’t make great pets, it doesn’t mean they’re dangerous creatures when you find them in the yard or road.

I hope that my article answered your question, “do Eastern box turtles bite?” Now that you know the answer, start learning more about the right turtles to keep as pets.

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