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Name: Robin B.
Status: educator
Age: 30s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2001


Question:
I am a teacher. I have a Common Snapper who has moved into our manmade pond at our home. He seems to be content to stay. I am concerned for several reasons. I have read that they are fairly docile near humans as long as not provoked but I have 7 & 8 year old children. Will he burrow into earth through our pond liner when he hibernates? Can we prevent him from burrowing by putting a heat ring in the pond during winter? Will he be able to get enough to eat in this environment or should we stock the pond with feeder goldfish or plant life? We are happy to have him stay but would be willing to try to relocate him or take him to the local wildlife society if it would be dangerous or destructive for US or unhealthy for HIM to stay.


Replies:
Children seven and eight years old can be taught to avoid the turtle, I would not be too concerned about safety as long as they are reminded not to provoke it. If the pond is shallow then it is most likely the turtle, assuming it came on its own, will go away again before hibernation to look for a more suitable place but if it should stay it might well damage a liner. Do not heat the pond to try to encourage the turtle to stay over winter, it is not likely to work but might keep the animal there too long for it to find another suitable place. Snappers are both scavengers and predators - it must be eating something or it would not stay. I would not add anything for food unless you wanted it for its own sake.

J. Elliott


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