What Kills Turtles In A Pond?

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

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Inconceivably, turtles have been around for millions of years. Their tough shells allowed them to survive the dinosaurs, and I wouldn’t be shocked if they outlived humans as well. It’s reasonable to assume their sturdy shells will keep them safe from any potential threat. However, there are still various ways for them to be harmed.

Predators, incorrect feeding, improper habitat, pesticide, shell rots, and overheating can lead to the death of the turtles in a pond. However, the death of a turtle in a pond can be prevented with proper care and caution most of the time.

You may have some concerns or inquiries when that terrible day finally arrives. What caused the demise of your turtle? What should you do if your turtle passes away? Etc.

In this article, the potential threats to your turtles’ life in the pond have been discussed. So keep on reading to get some insights!

Which Predators Can Kill Turtles In The Pond?

There are a great many species of creatures that feed on turtle eggs and infants, including some that you may be shocked to learn about. Because of this, turtles have developed the ability to create offspring in large quantities by simultaneously laying hundreds of eggs.

Let’s go a little more into the topic of the predators that lurk around ponds in search of turtles to eat.

  • American bullfrog
  • Nerodia (Water snakes)
  • Jackfish (Pike)
  • Largemouth bass
  • Snapping turtles
  • Catfish
  • River otters
  • Alligators
  • Birds

1. American BullFrog

The American bullfrog is a voracious hunter that waits in anticipation for victims and feeds on almost every animal that is of a lower size than it is. They may range in length from 4 to 6 inches and weigh up to 1.5 pounds.

They live in the same wetlands that turtles do. Due to this, you may expect to see these frogs even in your backyard pond.

An adult turtle is not frightened by a bullfrog’s large size. These frogs, however, will not hesitate to eat baby turtles if given the chance. When they are desperate, they will eat little turtles despite their size (which is all the time).

Therefore, outdoor ponds are not a good place to house newborn turtles. Instead, hold off on releasing them for at least two to three years, during which time they should be protected against bullfrogs.

2. Nerodia (Water Snakes)

Most of the time, water snakes and turtles live in the same environments. Additionally, their length might exceed 4 feet. Preying on amphibians and tiny reptiles, these creatures are opportunistic predators.

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There is a fourfold expansion of their mouth opening. They pose a hazard to your turtles because they can easily chew through the thick shell.

3. Jackfish (Pike)

Jackfish is found in large ponds, as well as warm lakes and sluggish rivers. The shells of the turtles may be easily broken by their very keen teeth.

Adults may grow to a length of 4 feet and a weight of 70 pounds, making them too large for even fully grown turtles to handle.

As strong swimmers, jackfish are well-suited to kill turtles in a pond or similar enclosed environment.

4. Largemouth Bass

When living in the natural, largemouth bass must rely on a broad range of food sources, and turtles are included in that. They average over 25 pounds in weight and over 20 inches in height.

Largemouth bass may cause widespread devastation by consuming their food, which includes small animals, turtle hatchlings, and even alligator hatchlings.

Their fangs are so keen that they can easily rip the legs off of a turtle. They can take down fully grown, semi-aquatic turtles thanks to their huge jaws, which give them away as such in the name.

5. Snapping Turtles (Both Common and Alligator)

The biggest of the freshwater turtles, snapping turtles, have been seen eating smaller turtle species.

They eat everything from plants to other animals to insects to fish to birds to snails to snakes to worms to crayfish to even members of their own species.

They’ll devour any kind of turtle, including other snapping turtles, whether they’re alive or dead.

When compared to other snapping turtles, alligator snappers are identical. But they won’t go after other turtles if they see them.

Instead, they’ll wait patiently till someone comes close. Then, when other turtles or prey are around, it utilizes its flexuous tongue to entice them.

6. Catfish

Given their invasive nature, catfishes may be found in any body of water. Catfish have been known to reach lengths of nearly 6 feet.

Catfish have a wide variety of eating habits, each based on the preferences of the individual fish.

They come in many forms, including herbivores, omnivores, carnivores, and even limnivores. Therefore, the sight of a catfish feeding on a turtle shouldn’t come as much of a shock.

7. Alligators

These reptiles share their environment with several aquatic turtle species. An alligator may thus quickly devour a turtle.

While the turtle’s shell provides considerable defense against most predators, it is no match for an alligator’s 2,000-pound biting power.

The alligator will easily dominate and consume a huge turtle, even if it is a species such as the common or alligator snapping turtle.

8. Birds

Turtles are an easy target for raptors like eagles, hawks, and falcons. They’ll hoist the reptiles into the air and then throw them down against rocks.

The turtle’s shell will crack and the animal’s unprotected organs will be in danger. Small turtles are a favorite food source for owls, crows, and bitterns, among other predatory birds.

Ducks and herons, for example, may sometimes supplement their primary feed with younger turtles.

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9. River Otters

River otters are skilled predators who use a wide variety of techniques to kill their prey. They are proficient in both land and sea hunting techniques.

Even in the dead of winter, they can outrun a trout or a turtle. They may kill a turtle by breaking its shell with their strong teeth and using their improvisatory talents.

Because of how effectively their predatory reflexes have evolved, they are able to successfully transport turtles from the water to land in their jaws.

Outdoor turtle pond setup guide infographic

For a printable version of this infographic, click here!

What Food Can Kill Turtles In A Pond?

Some people may think that every turtle requires a similar diet and food supply, but that is not the case.

Different species of turtles have different diets, some only consume plants, while others can digest very little quantities of meat.

Inadequate feeding of a turtle might result in the turtle not receiving the necessary nutrition for its survival.

More so, some turtles should avoid eating certain plants or plant components. They may only irritate the turtle’s skin, but they might also cause serious organ damage or possibly the animal’s death.

Tomatoes, for instance, are completely safe to eat and happen to be one of the box turtle’s personal favorites. But the leaves and stems of tomatoes are poisonous.

Leaves of rhubarb, holly, oleander, avocado leaves and seeds, and members of the nightshade family are also harmful to box turtles.

However, there are some plants that will not kill but can be highly toxic to your turtles which you might want to avoid planting in your turtle pond. Such as Arrowhead Vine, Firethorn, Dumb cane, Daffodil, etc.

Can Improper Habitat Kill Your Turtle?

Properly preparing a house for a new pet is a crucial step in the process of bringing a new animal into your life.

As with any pet, this may be especially challenging when caring for a turtle. It’s not enough to just have enough space and resources, you also need to maintain the habitat properly heated and clean.

In addition, most turtles need a basking area that is exposed to direct sunshine. Your turtle’s health will decline if the conditions it lives in are anything less than sufficient, which will gradually shorten their lifespans.

Can Shell Rots Kill A Turtle In A Pond?

An unsanitary water source in a turtle’s damaged enclosure is the most common cause of shell rot. These diseases are particularly dangerous for pond turtles such as red-eared sliders.

The reason for this is their constant exposure to water and the fact that their shells are easily damaged by sharp items in the pond or during conflicts with other turtles.

Since turtles spend so much time in the water, even minor wounds may quickly get septic. It may develop into shell rot if not handled.

If turtles aren’t treated for shell rot, they might die. Septicemia, often known as an illness of the blood caused by bacteria, occurs when an infection on the shell penetrates the underlying soft tissue and enters the circulation.

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Even if treated, your turtle may still perish to its illness after a few days if it reaches this stage. Avoiding them altogether by providing a safe environment for your turtle is preferable.

Can Pesticide Kill A Turtle In A Pond?

The best environment for turtles is, however, a breeding ground for leeches. Eliminating the leeches is crucial for the turtles’ survival.

The turtles will also be harmed by any treatment used to eliminate leeches or other pond pests. Furthermore, rain washes poisonous herbicides and insecticides used on surrounding croplands into pond water, killing aquatic life including turtles.

A high concentration of these in the pond water can kill turtles and other lives in the pond.

Can Overheat Kill A Turtle In A Pond?

Water levels drop or perhaps dry up entirely during the summer during drought. Increased water temperatures are a direct result of low water levels.

And once again, if the water temperature is too high, dissolved oxygen will be released, reducing the oxygen concentration of the water.

The pond’s turtles and other aquatic creatures would die in any of these scenarios

What To Do If Your Turtle Dies?

The abrupt death of a pet often leaves its owner feeling sad. What to do with the turtle and its environment once it has departed will be only one of many questions racing through your mind.

Take good care of your turtle’s physical structure first. Many folks will take the time to create an emotionally significant burial site for their turtle before burying it within a decorated box.

If you don’t want to bury your turtle, you might inquire about cremation services from your turtle doctor or other area veterinary clinics.

You can take your turtle with you everywhere you go with this. Once you have made up your mind on where your turtle will reside, it is time to tend to his former environment.

If your turtle may have been infected with salmonella, you should clean the tank completely.

Final Thoughts

Despite their strength and determination, turtles are not at the apex of the food web. Several predators, some of which would not be expected, eat them in the wild.

Protecting hatchling turtles from the elements is of paramount importance. So, house them in an inside aquarium where you can carefully monitor temperature, pH, and oxygen levels. Your turtles must mature into adults before they may be housed outside.

The health of the turtles in the pond depends on constant monitoring of the pond’s water, temperature, food, etc.

Last but not least, if your turtle passed away as a result of an illness or some other type of health issue, make it a point to inspect the environment in which your turtle lived while you are cleaning it up.

This will allow you to determine what factors could have contributed to your turtle being unwell. However your turtle passes away, it will be a tragic loss. Remember to give yourself even more space as you desire to mourn.

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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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