Western pond turtles live in ponds, large rivers, streams, marshes, and even roadside ditches. They eat mostly insects but will also eat small fish, frogs, and sometimes plants.
When frightened, a pond turtle hides under a rock, log, or plant. If it cannot find cover, it will withdraw its head and limbs into its shell and remain motionless.
In the wild, western pond turtles face competition from the non-native red-eared slider turtle. Biologists and conservation organizations are working to protect pond turtle habitat and food sources.
We have two resident pond turtles, Stebbins and Emmy. Both are used for classes, school programs, birthday parties, and public presentations.