Can You Keep an Alligator Snapping Turtle As a Pet?

No, you cannot keep an alligator snapping turtle as a pet. These turtles are wild animals and are not suitable for captivity. They require specialized care that most people do not have the skills or resources to provide.

These turtles can grow very large, up to 2 feet in length, and weigh up to 100 lbs when fully grown. Thus, they need much more space than typical pets such as cats or dogs which makes them difficult to own in captivity.

Additionally, their diets consist of live fish which is expensive and hard to come by making it difficult for individuals to properly provide nutrition for them without sacrificing their own quality of life. Owning an alligator snapping turtle is simply not practical and should be avoided at all costs due to its size and dietary requirements.

What Do Alligator Snapping Turtles Eat?

Alligator snapping turtles are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals. In the wild, their diet includes snails, clams, crayfish, insects, frogs, and fish. They also feed on aquatic plants like algae or seaweed. Some captive alligator snapping turtles may be given commercial turtle food as part of their diet too.

Baby Alligator Snapping Turtle Vs Common Snapping Turtle

The baby alligator snapping turtle is much larger than the common snapping turtle, growing up to three times bigger. They have a large, spiny head and powerful claws for hunting prey. They are also more aggressive and territorial than their common counterpart.

Furthermore, they have a special tongue structure an attractor organ, which serves as bait that lures in potential prey from great distances!

Can I Have a Pet Alligator Snapping Turtle?

Alligator snapping turtles are large, powerful animals that can be dangerous to humans, and they require special care and attention in captivity. These reptiles require water temperatures of around 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit (21-24 Celsius) as well as high humidity levels.

Keeping these reptiles in a domestic environment is difficult and may not even be legal depending on where you live. Alligator snappers also need plenty of space, as they grow up to 39 inches (100 cm) long and weigh up to 200 pounds (90 kg). They also produce waste that can pollute local waters if released into the wild, so it’s important that owners understand the potential harm their pets can cause.

For these reasons, we recommend against keeping alligator snapping turtles as pets unless you’re willing to commit ample time and resources to their proper care over the course of many years – something most people simply cannot do responsibly or safely.

What States Allow Alligator Snapping Turtles?

Alligator snapping turtles (Macrochelys temminckii) are found in the wild throughout much of the United States, from Florida to eastern Oklahoma and northern Louisiana. They inhabit rivers, streams and backwater sloughs of large rivers such as the Mississippi, with some populations having been found in brackish water estuaries. The turtles are protected by state law in most states they occur naturally; however they can be legally collected for personal possession or sale under certain conditions.

In Florida, alligator snapping turtles may only be taken from public waters with a valid hunting license during open seasons set by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). In Alabama and Georgia, it is legal for licensed trappers to take alligator snappers from designated areas with specific regulations governing size limits and the number harvested per season. Other states allow unrestricted capture of these reptiles if taken directly from their natural habitats without any trapping equipment or devices that could injure them.

Alligator snapping turtles may also be kept as pets provided appropriate permits have been obtained prior to collection or purchase; this includes obtaining an FWC permit which must accompany each turtle upon transport out of its native state.

What Do Pet Alligator Snapping Turtles Eat?

Pet alligator snapping turtles have an impressive diet that consists mostly of meat-based proteins. They are carnivorous and enjoy eating fish, crayfish, frogs, crabs, worms, aquatic insects, and even other smaller turtles. It is important to provide a varied diet in order to ensure the turtle receives proper nutrition.

In addition, to live prey items such as minnows or guppies, it can be beneficial to feed your pet alligator snapper frozen shrimp or krill which has been previously thawed out in aquarium water – this helps maintain a balanced diet while avoiding potential parasites that may be found with live foods. When feeding adult turtles it is best not to give them too much food as overfeeding can lead to health problems including shell deformities due to excess growth. A good rule of thumb when feeding pet alligators is no more than two meals per week for adults and three meals per week for younger turtles.

Can Alligator Snapping Turtles Live in Cold Water?

Alligator snapping turtles are native to the slow-moving rivers, canals, lakes, and swamps of the southeastern United States. Despite their large size and prehistoric appearance, they have adapted well to a variety of environments. They are capable of living in both cold water temperatures as well as warmer climates; however, they typically prefer waters that remain between 68–86 °F (20–30 °C).

How Long Can an Alligator Snapping Turtle Stay Out of Water?

Alligator snapping turtles (Macrochelys temminckii) are one of the largest freshwater turtle species in the world and they can be found throughout much of southeastern United States. While these turtles spend the majority of their time submerged in water, they have been known to stay out of the water for extended periods of time. Alligator snappers can survive up to a few weeks without access to water as long as they are able to find adequate food sources such as worms, fish, or other small animals.

During drier times when ponds and lakes dry up, alligator snappers will often dig burrows on land where they remain during drought season until waters return; some may even hibernate while underground if temperatures drop low enough. Overall, it is important that these reptiles are provided with ample access to both food and clean bodies of water so that they may thrive in their natural habitat for generations to come!

Do Snapping Turtles Make Good PETS? What you NEED to know


Although an Alligator Snapping Turtle can make a fascinating pet with its unique appearance and behavior, it is not recommended as they require specialized care and have the potential to become dangerous. For those who are considering keeping one of these turtles as a pet, it’s important to understand the commitment that comes with caring for them before making such a decision.