Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Digging

Box turtles are really amazing at digging. They have powerful front and back feet equipped with longish sharp claws that can turn them into streamlined plowing machines.

Bruce, like all box turtles, craves the ability to dig. I didn’t know this when I first rescued him, and it took a lot of reading and studying and veterinary consults to create a habitat that might truly feel like a “home” to him.

Not only do box turtles dig to make nests (if they are lady turtles, so this of course doesn’t apply to Bruce) and to hibernate or estivate, but they also dig just to have a safe place to rest safe from predators, and they dig to hunt for tasty prey.

And – I suspect – they dig because it is fun!

This can be a challenging concept to wrap my clean, dirt-free-loving mind around, and when I am in the midst of digging Bruce up for yet another mid-hibernation check, I often wonder how he can even breathe with all that dirt packed around him!

But he can. He does. To Bruce, crawling right into the middle of a nice mound of soft dirt probably feels just the same as it feels to me to crawl into the middle of my cozy bedsheets, comforter and pillows and settle down for a nice snooze.

Bruce, emerging from his comfy dirt bed (under duress and with lots of help from his mama) for yet another mid-hibernation safety check.

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