Can You Swim in A Pond With Snapping Turtles?

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Snapping turtles live underwater in the muddy bottom of a pond or lake. They also swim around for hunting. You can swim or snorkel in ponds or lakes where snapping turtles are available. So, can you swim in a pond with snapping turtles?

You can swim in a pond with snapping turtles without any problem. Snapping turtles rarely bite any people while they are in the water. You should be safe as long as you do not bother the turtles. 

In this article, you will learn about swimming in ponds with snapping turtles and what may cause snapping turtles to bite. By the end, you will realize that snapping turtles are not so dangerous after all!

Will A Snapping Turtle Bite You in The Water?

Snapping turtles are docile turtles. They like to live underwater where humans or predators do not bother them. They feel the safest underwater as they are much faster there. But it does not mean snapping turtles will come chase after people swimming in the pond or lake. 

Snapping turtles mostly spend their time at the bottom of the water body. They hide in the mud and wait for any fish or prey passing them. They are not curious creatures that will go to swimmers and bite them. 

They have other matters to think about. They will chase small foods in the pond and not bother about large animals like humans in the water. So, if you think snapping turtles may see humans as food, you are wrong. 

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Moreover, snapping turtles swim far away as fast as they can from people. In the wild, snapping turtles consider people as predators. So, they will find a safe place to hide from swimmers. 

Tips on Swimming Around Snapping Turtles

If you want to swim in a pond with snapping turtles, follow some simple rules. Here is what you can do:

  • Keep Your Distance: You may see a snapping turtle and feel tempted to touch its shell. But do not do that. If you see a snapping turtle, do not get near it. You better swim away from it and let it be alone.
  • Stay Quiet: Avoid making noise close to a snapping turtle. Loud noises can startle or irritate snapping turtles. As a result, they can get aggressive and try to bite you.
  • Avoid Swimming in Shallow Water: Snapping turtles often hide in shallow water. So, stay away from shallow areas of the pond or lake. You may accidentally step on a snapping turtle resulting in a dangerous bite. 

Are Snapping Turtles Dangerous on Land?

Snapping turtles rarely get out of the water. They may travel far from their habitat to find a place to build a nest. Hence, you may sometimes see snapping turtles in your yard or on the road. You may need to move a snapping turtle to a safer place for the turtle. But are snapping turtles dangerous on land? 

Snapping turtles can show aggressive behavior when they are on land. But not until you get too close to them. 

In the water, snapping turtles are faster and can escape from their predators easily. But on land, they are slow, and they feel defenseless. They cannot even get inside their shell like most other turtles do to protect themselves. 

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Therefore, they use their beaklike solid mouth to bite at any people or animals that try to get close to them. So, it is better not to put your hands or feet too close to a snapping turtle. Suppose you must remove a snapping turtle from the roadside or your property. In that case, contact animal control in your area. They can safely move the turtle. 

Are Snapping Turtle Bites Dangerous? 

Snapping turtles rarely chase and bite people. But if they think they are in danger, they become defensive. They will not hesitate to use their powerful mouth to scare off their predators. So, how dangerous is a snapping turtle’s bite?

Well, snapping turtles can bite really hard. A Large size Common or Alligator snapping turtle has such a powerful set of jaws that it can bite an adult human’s fingers or toes off! Even a snap from their beak can cause great pain. 

Not just the big ones, even the baby and juvenile snapping turtles can bite hard. People often get bitten by them trying to hold or pet them. So, try not to bother a snapping turtle when you see one. 


So, can you swim in a pond with snapping turtles? Yes, you can swim with snapping turtles. But make sure not to bother them in the water or on the land. They rarely attack swimmers unless they feel vulnerable or provoked. 

Call animal control to relocate the turtles if you do not want snapping turtles on your property.

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About Author

Muntaseer Rahman started keeping pet turtles back in 2013. He also owns the largest Turtle & Tortoise Facebook community in Bangladesh. These days he is mostly active on Facebook.


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