The different types of turtles you can adopt

The turtle, like a canine or an equine, can form surprising bonds with humans. However, not all turtle species are suitable for adoption, especially for a first experience. The UCHL blog offers you an overview of the different types of turtles that you can adopt.

Land turtles that are easy to raise

Tortoises are generally the easiest to adopt given their less stringent housing and care requirements. Some turtles, even better than others, adapt quickly to domestic life. You can choose:

  • Hermann’s tortoise,
  • Balkan turtle,
  • Leopard tortoise.

Highly recommended for beginners, the Hermann’s tortoise (Testudo graeca) is a small chelonian native to the Mediterranean basin. She is very active during the day and particularly enjoys interacting with humans. Undemanding, this testudine can be satisfied with the same space or terrarium for the duration of its life. However, you must take care of your turtle to enjoy its company over a long period.

Solitary living in a terrarium also suits the Balkan tortoise, a species native to Eastern Europe. Calm and harmless, she is easy to tame. The Balkan Chelonian, however, does not appreciate frequent interactions. She tends to tuck her paws in when she feels in danger.

The Leopard tortoise (Stigmochelys pardalis) is a large testudine native to Africa. It is attractive thanks to its markings on its shell which imitate the fur of a leopard. This chelonian, active during the day, is docile and silent in the vivarium. Furthermore, the Leopard tortoise does not hibernate. It therefore constitutes an active pet all year round.

Choose aquatic, freshwater turtles!

Water turtles, unlike terrestrial species, are very demanding and require daily care and special attention. For this reason, adopting an aquatic turtle requires some experience with chelonians. Due to their fragility and the strict conditions required by their living environment, the keeping of aquatic turtles is subject to authorization. Only the Elseya and Emydura species are exempt from this regulation and are still available in pet stores today.

Prefer the Elseya turtle

Coming from New Guinea and surrounding countries, the Elseya tortoise is an animal that can be raised alone or in pairs. The Elseya is an omnivorous chelonian but particularly appreciates:

  • the insects,
  • invertebrates,
  • small fish.

This turtle also appreciates water with a temperature between 22 and 28 degrees with a pH ranging from 6 to 8.

The Emydura turtle, an easy-to-domesticate animal

Considered one of the most beautiful turtles in the world, the Emydura subglobosa is an easy-to-tame chelonian. The Emydura tortoise is very popular with terrariophiles because of its bright colors on the belly, plastron, and head. Emydura is essentially carnivorous (fresh shrimp, earthworms, slugs, etc.), but easily accepts pellets specially developed for water turtles.

For these two species, you must provide an aquarium equipped with a UV lamp with a heating option. Two-thirds of the habitat will consist of water with a depth of at least 40 cm to allow the reptiles to swim as desired. The rest of the vivarium will serve as a beach with one or two shaded areas.

Nutritional comparison of terrestrial and aquatic turtles

The diet of turtles differs depending on their living environment. Consider the case of terrestrial turtles such as the Hermann’s tortoise, the Balkan tortoise, and the Leopard tortoise. They are mainly herbivores and feed on leaves, fruits, and vegetables. Occasionally, they may eat earthworms or snails. On the other hand, aquatic turtles like the Elseya and the Emydura are mainly carnivorous. They mainly eat invertebrates, small fish, and shrimp.

Are all reptiles carnivorous? No, contrary to what one might think, not all reptiles are carnivorous. The diet of reptiles varies depending on their species and their living environment.

The right choice based on your environment and lifestyle

Before adopting a turtle, it is essential to evaluate your environment and lifestyle. For example, a water turtle requires an aquarium with daily maintenance, while a land turtle may make do with a terrarium or even a suitable outdoor space in your garden.

Would you be willing to dedicate time every day to caring for your water turtle? If the answer is no, then a tortoise would be more suited to your lifestyle. Likewise, a tortoise that requires frequent interaction with humans, such as Hermann’s tortoise, would be ideal for a family with children.

It is essential to choose a turtle adapted to your lifestyle to ensure its well-being and development. This will also ensure a healthy and harmonious relationship between you and your new shelled friend.

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