Turtles are active from late spring to early fall in Massachusetts. During this time, Tufts Wildlife Clinic receives many turtles that have suffered injuries such as fractures of the shell or limbs while crossing roads. Turtles also suffer bites from dogs. Aquatic turtles sustain injuries from fishing gear, such as hooks and line.
Information on identifying turtles can be found in the links below. Be aware that 6 out of 10 of the turtle species in Massachusetts are protected under Massachusetts state law. While it is not lawful for the general public to possess these turtles, you can transport the turtle for veterinary care as soon as possible.
If you cannot transport the turtle to Tufts Wildlife Clinic immediately or if the Clinic is not open, keep the turtle in a warm, quiet place in the tightly sealed container until you are able to bring it to the Clinic.
Transport the turtle to one of the following places:
During transport, keep the turtle in the box or crate, keep the car quiet (radio off).
If you found a snapping turtle, please read the following special information first.