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What to Do When Your Tortoise or Turtle Runs Away From Home

Ever lost a turtle? A wandering turtle can be very stressful on family life, especially if you have young children. It is a traumatic, unforgettable and devastating experience that could impact your kids for years to come. Should your turtle ever go a-wandering, this is what to do:

Run around your neighborhood. Try to get the whole family to do it, but don’t lose any of your family because they are more important than the turtle.

Realize how fast a turtle can travel. The average turtle can walk at 3-4 miles an hour, so if it’s been 3 hours since you last saw your turtle, he could be up to 12 miles away.

Chances are your turtle hasn’t gone very far, just to the nearest lettuce leaf.


Make friends with your neighbors. Many times it is your neighbors who will find the turtle taking a nice warm shower in their private pond so make friends with them and maybe they’ll return your turtle instead of making some delicious turtle soup.

Prior to losing your turtle make a mark on the turtle so you know how to identify him. If you find a wandering turtle you’ll want to know if it’s your turtle. Don’t use lead based paint to mark your turtle.

Check near water. Turtles like water so find the nearest pond and make sure your turtle isn’t nearby.

Keep a wheelbarrow handy for when you find the turtle. Turtles are very heavy to carry home.

Once the turtle is home, forgive him (or her, you never can tell). He will not know he’s home and will never be your best friend, if you want a best friend, get a dog.

If you want to treat your turtle because you are happy to see him again, feed him snails.

If your turtle is lost forever, just buy a new one. You won’t notice the difference and neither will your children.

If a live turtle is too stressful, consider a crystal turtle or a stuffed turtle. They are much less work and won’t run away.


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