A Perspective on Box Turtle Derbies 

Published June 13, 2010

Turtle derbies pose health hazards to humans and turtles, cause an enormous amount of distress to the animals, and contribute to the decline of our native box turtle populations.

Beak and Claw Care 

Published September 14, 2014

Excessive growth of the beak and claws is common in captive chelonians. Such overgrowth can be due to a number of causes, most of which are avoidable with good husbandry.

Box Turtle Diet

UPDATED May 23, 2021

Box turtles are omnivorous in the wild, eating a wide array of both plant and animal matter. Their diet in captivity should likewise be varied to encourage a strong feeding response and to promote good health. It should include a variety of vegetables, raw leafy greens, fruits and berries, and high-quality animal protein.

The ABCs of Vitamin A

Published June 25, 2010

A common diagnosis of sick chelonians includes “hypovitaminosis A,” or vitamin A deficiency. However, many of the symptoms of hypovitaminosis A are the same as those of other disorders, including “hypervitaminosis A,” or the excessive accumulation of vitamin A in the body.

When the End is in Sight

Published June 25, 2010

In chelonians, the colon, the urinary bladder, the penis of males, the oviducts and shell glands of females, and the cloaca itself may prolapse, that is, slip from their normal position, move down the cloaca and pass out through the anal vent. 

Ear Infections in Chelonians

UPDATED: February 11, 2014

This problem is quite common in captive chelonians, and is largely avoidable through sound husbandry practices. It is also a common problem in wild box turtles for reasons that are not well understood. This potentially life-threatening problem is easily resolved with proper medical care.

Wading Safely

Published June 25, 2010

This pond system solves the problems of temperature spikes and water quality while providing a safe environment for box turtles.

Handling and Transport of Turtles

Published October 25, 2012

Guidelines for handling and transporting a variety of turtle species.
Sandy's email address mentioned in some of these articles is out of date. Her current email is

Article on indoor housing coming soon

Planting Box Turtle Outdoor Habitats

​Published June 10, 2020

Includes a table showing plants by category and advice for planting them.