What are the odds that you are just taking a stroll in your yard or having a cup of tea while reading the newspaper and you get to see a turtle in your yard?
The odds of it are quite low right? But, if you are lucky enough to witness this in your lifetime then you must be aware of what you should do if you come across a turtle in your yard.
What to do if You Find a Turtle in Your Yard?
The most important thing to do when you find a turtle in your yard is to not panic. If you live near any body of water, it is likely that the turtle has just strolled off a bit. If you find a turtle in or around your pond, you should read my article on what to feed pond turtles.
Read below for an in depth guide on what you should do if you find a turtle in your yard.
Don’t Get Scared
First of all you need to understand that turtles are totally harmless animals. They wouldn’t even hurt a fly let alone a human being. Even the more aggressive turtles, such as the musk or snapping turtle, will not harm a human. The only exception is if they are provoked.
If you are able to distinguish that the turtle is a snapping turtle, you should read my article on what to feed a snapping turtle.
There is a very good chance the turtle is more scared of you than you are of him. That being said, you still shouldn’t put your hands near their mouth as a precaution.
Therefore, there is no reason to fear the turtle that has stumbled upon your yard.
If it is a male turtle, it is probably just taking a stroll around. It will most likely get out of the yard on its own and you would never see it again. If it’s a female turtle and it’s around the month of August, it could mean the turtle is pregnant.
August is the most common month for turtles to lay eggs. The female turtle usually looks for a damp place where it can dig into ground and lay its eggs and allow them to be hatched. For this reason, they may have ventured out further than usual to find the ideal piece of land.
This is a beautiful phenomenon of nature. You surely wouldn’t want to miss out on this golden opportunity of having a look at this beautiful stage of life of a turtle.
Protect The Eggs
If you see the female turtle has laid its eggs in your yard by digging into the ground, it’s then your responsibility to protect these eggs and it isn’t rocket science and you can do it easily.
Let’s have a look at how you can protect these eggs.
- You can build some sort of fencing around that area so that it remains safe from other animals.
- Make sure that you don’t use pesticides in the yard.
- Keep in mind not to step on that area.
- The egg shells of turtles are quite weak and cannot bear a lot of pressure without cracking!
- Make sure that the kids do not damage the eggs out of curiosity.
If you follow all these instructions, you may get to see the little turtles hatch themselves out of the eggs. Once they hatch, they can usually move on into its natural habitat on their own.
Contact A Vet Or Animal Rescue!
If you get a feeling that the turtle that you have found in your yard is not healthy and there is something wrong with it, you should contact a veterinary doctor or Animal rescue department as soon as possible.
You can also try to help heal the turtle by yourself with the proper guidance. If the turtle has damage on its shell, you should read my article how to heal a turtle shell.
Also, if you are not comfortable with a female turtle laying eggs in your yard, you can still contact animal rescue. They can transport the female turtle to a suitable place for it to lay its egg.
Do Not Throw Them Into A Pond Or River
Most of the turtles that might sneak into your yard would usually be pond turtles. However, if you do not know how to properly determine the species of a turtle, then you should be highly careful before you do anything with them.
You should never throw them into a pond or a river. This might kill them because there are some species of turtles that do not actually swim. Additionally, even if you put an aquatic turtle into a body of water, it can still be dangerous if it is not the same lake or river they came from.
Hence, you should be highly careful before getting rid of the turtle. I recommend you contact a vet if you plan to get rid of the turtle. You can also call the animal rescue department and ask them to take the turtle away.
The only exception to this rule is if you have a cat or dog that is known for killing small animals and rodents. If this is the case, I would recommend that you pick up the turtle and set it on the outskirts of your property. Ideally you should put it in the direction of the nearest body of water, as that is most likely where the turtle came from.
The Best Thing To Do
The best thing to do if you find a turtle in your yard is to leave it on its own. Most turtles won’t stay there longer than a day and will move out of your yard on their own. Even if they stay to lay some eggs, it is not going to harm or hinder you in any way.
So, it is highly recommended that you should actually enjoy this process of nature and get yourself involved by helping out by providing some space.
All in all, it is highly unlikely that a turtle might sneak into your yard. If it does occur, you should enjoy it and let things be.