Are you thinking of getting a baby snapping turtle? You may have seen one at a local pet store. It is also common for people to pick some of these turtles up from their backyards or surrounding areas. You may think it would be nice to keep the cute babies as pets. You should know though that there is a lot to keeping a snapping turtle as a pet. You should consider keeping them only if you are capable of doing so. Here’s what you should know about snapping turtle pets.
Baby Snapping Turtle Growth and Size
The most common mistake of potential pet owners is that they think snappers stay cute. They are later surprised to learn that snapping turtles can become very large. On average, these turtles can grow up to 8-16 inches. There have been some however that have reached more or less 20 inches. Their average weight is 30 lbs. but some can reach to double the average weight. These turtles grow fast. From a mere 2 inches as babies, they can grow to their full minimum average length in two years.
It is when the turtles are at their maximum growth that they become difficult to take care of. Pet owners become even more alarmed when they find out that these turtles can live for very long. From the moment they are born, snapping turtles can live for four decades more. Unprepared pet owners eventually realize that they got more than they bargained for. They may therefore abandon their pets, leave them in zoos or put them up for adoption.
Baby Snapping Turtle Habitat
The maximum growth capacity of a baby snapping turtle is not your only concern. You also need to think about where it is going to live. In the beginning, your baby turtle may be comfortable with just a ten-gallon tank. You then have to add ten gallons for every inch that your turtle grows. You may have to prepare a hundred gallon tank.
Snapping turtles also can’t be house trained like dogs and cats. Although they are enclosed in an aquarium or pond, they can quickly make their environment dirty. Aside from the large volumes of waste that they excrete, they also have the tendency to churn up their habitat bottoms. They can also muddle up the decorations and items that you have set up in the aquarium. This means that you will have to constantly monitor and clean their environment.
Baby Snapping Turtle Temperament
Snapping turtles are generally mild mannered when in their natural water environment. When the occasion calls for it though, they can bite people and eat other animals. They could also hiss and take an aggressive stance. A snapping turtle pet is capable of doing the same thing. It could bite you or other animals around it, including other snapping turtles. This means you may have to take the extra effort to provide a completely separate home for your snapping turtle.
These are only some of the basic considerations when taking care of a snapping turtle. It is already obvious however, based on these points alone that it is no joke to decide to take in a baby snapping turtle. Do think your decision over a couple of times. You certainly want to provide a clean and happy home for your turtle.