Explore the Amazing World of Reptiles at Reptile-Guide.com

Everything You Need To Know About Reptile Guide

how to pick up a snapping turtle

How To Pick Up A Snapping Turtle: Safest Way To Handle Them

Snapping turtles are wild animals and can cause serious harm if handled incorrectly. While it may be tempting to pick them up to take a closer look, it is important to remember that they are not domesticated creatures and can bite or lash out if they feel threatened. Fortunately, there are a few safe ways to handle snapping turtles if you know what you’re doing.

Start by using a long stick to herd the turtle into an open container or bucket. The turtle’s head should be facing one end of the container and its tail should be pointing out at the other end. Make sure that the container is deep enough so that the turtle cannot escape, but shallow enough for you to reach in without putting your hands too close to its mouth.

Once the turtle is safely inside, you can use two sticks to secure it. Place a post in front of and behind each of its legs, then slowly lift it up while supporting both ends securely with your hands. Be extra careful when lifting larger turtles as they may become agitated and try to bite if handled roughly.

The Dos and Don’ts of Handling a Snapping Turtle

Snapping turtles are one of the most iconic species of turtles found in North America. These large, wild reptiles have a reputation for being quite aggressive which isn’t totally unfounded. But, despite their fierce appearance, snapping turtles can be safely handled if you follow some simple dos and don’ts. It’s important to remember that even with proper handling, they should still be respected and given plenty of space.

How To Tell How Old A Turtle Is?

snapping turtle

So, if you’re interested in learning more about these fascinating creatures or just want to know how to pick up a snapping turtle without getting snapped at yourself, read on for all the dos and don’ts of handling a snapping turtle.

DO: Go slowly when approaching a snapping turtle. They may appear ferocious but they are generally shy and skittish animals. Make sure to move slowly and calmly so as not to startle them or cause them to panic.

Don’t: Grab the snapper by its tail as this is often where they store their fat reserves which can leave them vulnerable to infections and other illnesses if disturbed too much. Instead, find their carapace (shell) around their back which is much stronger than their tails. Gently slide your hand underneath the shell at the base of its neck near its front legs which will help support the turtle’s weight while minimizing stress for both you and the turtle.

DO: Wear protective gloves when attempting to handle a snapper as they can deliver an extremely painful bite with their sharp beak-like jaws even after being picked up from behind! A thick pair of leather gloves will offer an extra layer of protection against any unexpected bites but make sure to check for tears or holes before use, just in case!

Don’t: Try picking up a larger adult snapper without help from another person as their heavyweight could strain your muscles or result in your dropping them unexpectedly if you become tired or slip on wet surfaces. Always enlist an experienced helper who knows how to properly lift and carry snappers away from danger zones like roadsides or bodies of water while keeping themselves safe at all times too!

DO: Check local laws before attempting to pick up any type of wild animal including snapping turtles as some areas have regulations on what types of wildlife can be removed (or relocated) from their natural environment. Obtaining permission before intervening could prevent fines or legal issues later down the road!

Don’t: Put yourself into harm’s way by attempting to pick up large adult snapping turtles who may already feel threatened by your presence nearby instead, look out for newly hatched baby snappers who are much smaller and less intimidating (and don’t usually bite!). Once again, always wear protective gloves for your safety, no matter what size/age the turtle is!

DO: Place two hands underneath either side of the carapace (shell). This helps distribute the weight evenly across both arms so you don’t strain any one muscle group unnecessarily during carrying sessions; it also prevents awkward positions that could lead to injury over time if done incorrectly. With two people helping each other out it’s easier than ever before!

Don’t: Keep any wild snapped turtles outside for extended periods of time due to risk factors such as dehydration, heatstroke, sunburns, predators, etc. Always bring them inside into controlled environments like aquariums/terrariums with access to clean water sources like streams etc., where they can enjoy a safer life with plenty of food provided daily!

With these helpful tips in mind, you should now have all the necessary information needed when considering picking up a snapping turtle in the future just remember always practice safety first along with respect towards nature and wildlife at all times!

Common Mistakes People Make When Dealing with Snapping Turtles

Snapping turtles are a species of chelonian found throughout most of the United States and Canada. They can be identified by their large, powerful jaws and sharp claws. These turtles have a hard, protective shell that makes them difficult to pick up safely but not impossible. However, improper handling of snapping turtles can lead to serious injury for both the turtle and the handler. It is essential to learn how to properly handle these animals in order to ensure their safety and well-being as well as your own.

snapping turtle

One of the most common mistakes people make when dealing with snapping turtles is trying to pick them up from behind or from the tail. Doing so can cause serious harm to the animal, as their tails are quite delicate and easily broken or injured when handled incorrectly. It’s also important to keep in mind that these turtles are very strong animals, capable of striking out with their long necks and powerful jaws if they feel threatened in any way. Therefore, it is always best to approach a snapping turtle from the front or sides rather than directly behind it.

Another mistake people make when dealing with snapping turtles is underestimating how sharp their claws can be. These claws can easily break the skin or tear clothing if they’re not handled correctly and carefully. If you need to move a snapping turtle, try using something like a thick towel or blanket instead of your bare hands, as this will provide some protection against potential claw injuries while still allowing you to maintain control over the animal.

It’s important never to attempt to feed a wild snapping turtle by hand, even if you think you know which species it is and what its diet consists of. Snapping turtles are omnivorous predators that prefer live prey such as worms or fish. Feeding them items like hamburger meat or chicken can cause them severe stomach problems due to stress-induced changes in pH balance that can affect digestion and nutrient absorption rates negatively over time.

Lastly, never transport a snapping turtle without consulting local wildlife laws first; many states have regulations regarding how these animals should be moved between locations safely and legally without causing undue stress or harm to their populations within certain areas or habitats. Proper handling techniques must also be employed during transport; use caution when carrying large adults who may become agitated quickly due to being moved away from familiar territory suddenly into unfamiliar surroundings. Make sure all water sources during transport are clean and available at all times as well; this will help keep the turtle hydrated during travel which will minimize any amount of stress caused by excessive heat exposure while ensuring its safety overall during movement from one location to another properly and humanely.


Picking up snappers isn’t something that should be done lightly it requires patience and knowledge of how best to handle them in order for both parties involved (the handler and the animal) to remain safe throughout the process. With proper preparation and caution taken during handling, however, picking up a snapping turtle can be done successfully with minimal risk of injury or harm occurring but only if handled correctly! Pet owners should understand all safety precautions before attempting this task on their own so that no one gets hurt along the way!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *