ornate box turtle (Terrapene ornata)

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Time posted: September 29, 2006

As a kid I kept box turtles. They make decent pets, but keeping them in captivity isn’t a great situation for them. Since we have dogs, it’s not even possible to let a turtle roam free the way we did with ours as kids.

Strictly speaking, this gal (she lacks the concavity on the carapace that would indicate a male) is an import, since I picked her up out of the road on the way home from work about a mile from the house. But after the kids had a chance to check her out, they set her free in the back pasture, which has the makings of good box turtle territory, and isn’t too far from where we found her.

western box turtle
the visiting box turtle

Sorry about the blur, but you can kind of see the pooch took quite an interest in the turtle as well. We got her released quickly. Ornate box turtles are the state reptile of Kansas.

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