A student brought me a small box turtle with a shell
about 5 inches long. It has swollen "cheeks" and looks very much like ET.
It is very aggressive and seems fearless. Is this a special type,a
mutation,injury or disease? How can we take care of him in captivity or
should we let him go?
I would have to see the animal to tell any more about it, what exactly
"swollen" means. If possible take it to a vet, nature center, herp society,
someone with some knowledge of turtle care, to see if there is something
that needs treatment. My opinion in general is that wild animals should be
left in the wild, however box turtles can often be kept successfully and in
Illinois there is no law against it, as there is for birds and mammals. Lots
of good books in libraries on turtle care.
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Update: June 2012