Rules and Regulations For Box Turtles In Ohio?

Question: I have a question I have been trying to get answered for some time with no success. I am hoping that you can please help me.

I want to keep any kind of U.S. box turtles, but I cannot find information about the laws and regulations for my state (Ohio) in regard to keeping them. I am most interested in keeping eastern and three-toed box turtles. I have seen captive-bred animals for sale in Ohio classifieds, so I’m wondering if it’s okay to keep captive-bred box turtles in my state. I have a great habitat in my yard and would like to try breeding them. Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated!

Victoria Sexton, Columbus, Ohio

three-toed box turtle


Consult directly with your local authorities before making a reptile purchase of which you’re uncertain.

The best places to direct your question would be Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources website. You can also read the regulations pertaining to box turtles in Ohio here.  Although you would not, according to the site, be permitted to take a species of concern out of the wild (and box turtles are listed as such on their site), you might be able to keep captive-bred specimens legally.

It is always best to consult directly with your local authorities before making a purchase of which you’re uncertain, just to make sure you have the most up-to-date information. Laws can change, after all, and you want to be current.  

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