1. Get a strong plastic container, such as one made by Rubbermaid ®, that is only slightly larger than your turtle and shallow enough so that when it is covered, the turtle can't flip over on its back. A small container prevents a turtle from moving around and possibly hurting itself. Never put more than one turtle in a container to minimize stress and prevent injury from biting and clawing.
2. BEFORE putting the turtle in the container, drill or burn (using a soldering iron) many holes in the upper walls and lid for ventilation. Be sure the holes are smooth on the inside.
3. Line the container with moist paper toweling or shredded newspaper. You want to put in enough bedding to keep the turtle from moving too much. Transport adult turtles on shredded newspaper, and juvenile turtles on damp sphagnum moss or damp paper towels.
4. After putting the turtle in the container, securely tie or tape the container shut. Be sure not to cover the ventilation holes!
5. Put the turtle container in a Styrofoam cooler or cardboard box that is lined on the bottom, sides and top with crumbled or shredded newspaper. The outer box or cooler should have some ventilation holes.
6. Keep the box out of the sun! Although turtles naturally bask in the sun, they know when to retreat to the cool water or shade to prevent overheating When YOU put them in a container, they depend on YOU to keep them at the right temperature. When traveling by car, you can drape a newspaper or towel over the turtle's box to shade it and prevent overheating. Never leave your turtle in a container in the sun or in a car parked in the sun, even if the container is shaded with a cloth or paper. The container can quickly overheat (that includes Styrofoam coolers) and kill your turtle!
SHIPPING TURTLES: UPS and FedEx will ship turtles next day express, but shipping should only be done above 40F and below 90F. Visit http://www.
Click here to view a presentation by MATTS herpetologist Sandy Barnett, with examples on how to transport turtles.