Box turtles are truly an enigma of sorts in the turtle/tortoise world.
Sometimes they seem more like terrapins or water turtles, with their water-loving personalities and tendency to go for a “swim” in any little pond or puddle they encounter.
But then at other times, especially while hibernating under layers of dirt and mulch or when tunneling into a thick, soft hay pile, a box turtle can seem as “land turtle” as it gets.
Also, the box turtle is the only turtle in the world that can fully enclose its body inside its shell for safety. Once inside, there really is no way for any outsider (such as that turtle’s mommy) to “unlock” the shell safely – you just have to wait for the occupant to decide it is safe to come out and open back up again.
Bruce is also a fairly even mixture of “wild turtle” and “rescued pet turtle.” He loves eye contact. He understands what his food rock is, what is on it and why it can make sense to stay out in the open when it appears.
And he loves to bathe. He will wade right out into the center of his habitat pool and just sit there and soak and soak. However, when he first approaches his pool, he often just dips in a toe or two at first while taking in the lay of the land. Then, satisfied the coast is clear, he will paddle out to float and relax.