How Much do Alligator Snapping Turtles Cost?
An alligator snapping turtle is a very popular choice for those who would like a pet a little more unique than a dog or cat. This turtle is one of the largest freshwater turtles in the world and is very distinguishable from other types of turtles. They have large heads with strong, beak-like jaws and spiky ridges running along their shells. Because of this primitive-like appearance, these turtles are usually associated with dinosaurs. Although they are most at home in deep, muddy holes in the rivers and streams, they can adapt to different environments since they are amphibians. These amazing creatures can weigh as much as 175 pounds when fully grown.
How much does it cost?
- The price of an alligator snapping turtle varies according to the location of the buyer. This species of turtle is native in the southeastern part of the United States. Thus, if you live outside these states, you will likely find the price for the turtles a little bit higher. The average price of an alligator snapping turtle is usually between $70 and $100.
- Turtleman.com sells captive born hatchlings of alligator snappers at $75 each. You can get one for $60 if you place an order of two or more turtles. The listed price, however, excludes the shipping fees.
- If you opt to buy the eggs of alligator turtles instead and raise these until they hatch, you need to prepare a higher budget since eggs are known to be more expensive. Alligator snapping turtle eggs can cost anywhere from $250 to $350.
What is going to be included?
- One can purchase baby or juvenile alligator snapping turtles in some pet stores and through online stores as well. It is always safe to buy one from a reputable turtle breeder since you may need to comply with legal procedures set by the local government about making exotic animals as pets. In fact, the Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service enlisted the alligator snappers as endangered species. According to the Office of the Federal Registrar, some restrictions are set when selling, buying and owning this type of turtle.
- If you purchase your alligator turtle online, you may receive a starter kit including items such as a guide on how to care for the turtle as well as samples of different types of food.
What are the extra costs?
- Shipping fees. If you buy the turtle online, you will be responsible for the shipping costs. According to Turtleman.com, next day service is $45 and 2nd day is $25. These prices may change from one breeder to another and may depend on your location in the country, but this should be a rather good estimate to keep in mind.
- Cages and shelter. These are not domestic animals. They need a special cage and shelter that is similar to their natural habitat. Although they can adjust to most temperatures, they prefer cool swampy places. If you could provide this to your turtles, that would be a delight for them. However, creating this type of environment can be much more expensive than just a cage.
- Food. Alligator snapping turtles kept in captivity are fed fish, mice, worms and a nutritionally balanced diet. Plan on spending around $100 per month for food.
Factors that affect the price:
- Location. Because this type of turtle is native to certain parts of the world, they will be cheaper in that area. The further you are from the source, the more expensive the turtle will be for you.
- Origin. Alligator snapping turtles can either be born in captivity or born in the wild. They can also be born before or after they have been hatched. Turtle eggs from the wild will be the most expensive, while live turtles born in captivity will be the cheapest.
Tips to know:
- Although they bear the name of snapping turtles, alligator snapping turtles are totally different. They are not as aggressive and have a milder temperament.
- Alligator snapping turtles are protected in every state in which they reside. These protection laws make commercial trapping illegal.
- These turtles are a bit expensive since they do not lay eggs every year. Experts say that they lay eggs every other year and sometimes every third year.
- Alligator Snappers are the largest freshwater turtle in North America.
How can I save money?
- Shop around (both in stores and online) for the best deals of alligator snapping turtles. Do not just opt for the cheapest, but make sure that the pet store or breeder has a reputation of complying the standards set by wildlife agencies and your local government.
- Because these turtles only lay eggs every other or every third year, you can wait to purchase one until a year when there will be more than average. They will always be cheaper when there are more available.