Woodland Box Turtle #20-0136

February 29, 2020
May 30, 2020
Rescue Location
Rockingham County, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Disrupted hibernation
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On February 29, a private citizen was gardening in Rockingham County and accidentally uncovered a tiny hibernating Woodland Box Turtle. The gardener brought the turtle to the Wildlife Center that same afternoon.

Dr. Claire examined the hatchling turtle and found that the turtle was dehydrated, lethargic, and cold to the touch. Turtles naturally hibernate over the winter when resources are more limited, and the temperatures aren’t conducive to reptile systems. Sometimes hatchlings will go directly into hibernation after hatching and do not emerge until spring. Dr. Claire was able to slowly warm the turtle before giving fluids, which caused the turtle to brighten significantly. Radiographs were taken to check for any internal injuries, though no abnormalities were noted.

The turtle weighed 8.45g upon intake – equivalent to the average weight of a jelly bean!

The turtle will be housed in the Center’s reptile room until May, when turtles can be released.

You can help support our work with native wildlife.

Your donation will help provide special veterinary and rehabilitative care to this hatchling turtle and approximately 4,000 other patients that the Wildlife Center will help this year.


Patient Updates

On May 21, Woodland Box Turtle #20-0136 was moved from the Center’s Reptile Room to the hallway of the Aviary enclosure to acclimate to the outdoors. This patient continues to eat well and is gaining weight — this turtle’s most recent weigh-in shows that he is 44g!

The turtle is currently living in this outdoor protected space this week, getting exercise and getting used to the outdoors again. At the end of this week, the turtle will be ready to return to the wild.

Our tiniest Box Turtle patient continues to live in Reptile Room, where it receives hearty meals from the rehabilitation team, and is soaked in a shallow bath twice a week to maintain hydration.

This patient continues to eat well, and has gained weight — almost quadrupling in size since admission! Upon admission, the turtle weighed 8.45 grams and now weighs just under 34 grams.

This turtle’s stay at the Center has been otherwise unremarkable, and the staff are just awaiting appropriate spring weather after May 1 to return to the wild.