Tortoise and Box Turtles

Asked July 16, 2019, 11:17 AM EDT

Are Tortoises and box turtles the same? If a tortoise is found crossing a street, or on our lawn, should they be moved or allowed to move on their own? My neighbor found one and moved it close to a pond, because she thought it should be in the water. I disagreed with her and insisted it be left alone, as it is a land creature. WHO IS CORRECT? I would appreciate your response. Betty

Howard County Maryland wildlife miscellaneous

1 Response

Box turtles are turtles; they are different from tortoises.
https://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/habitat/waturtles.aspx
This page explains the similarities and differences between turtles and tortoises. http://www.reptileknowledge.com/articles/article20.php

If you see a turtle trying to cross a road, and you can safely help it to the other side, then you can do so. It is best to let it be on its way and stay in its wild habitat/territory rather than relocating it to a pond. https://www.matts-turtles.org/helping-turtles-cross-roads.html

More info here: https://news.maryland.gov/dnr/2019/05/15/marylands-wild-turtles-are-on-the-move/

Christa