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What to do with a Dead Turtle? #CPR #PreserveShell #Rituals

Turtles do live for many years. But, eventually, they die. What to do when a turtle dies? That should be a prime question that would come to your mind. Once the turtle dies, it does decompose, just like most of the other animals. So, understanding what to do when a turtle dies can prove to be one of the prime options that you would want to check out.

What Does a Dead Turtle Look Like?

A turtle does have a hard crust, and that would perhaps make it quite difficult to find whether the turtle is dead. There may be no physical symptoms to find that the turtle is dead until you notice that there are no symptoms of life at all.

Most of the time, you would find the turtle in a pile of dead leaves, or you may even find it lying in the muck for days in his pond. Before thinking that the turtle is dead, it may be worth checking if the turtle is brumating. It should be important to find the differences between a dead turtle and a brumating turtle.

What Does a Dead Turtle Look Like

Some of the signs to find if the title is dead can include:

  • Turtle may be Cold to the touch
  • The sunken eye is an indication of the dead turtle
  • A bad odor emanating
  • Sunken, shriveled skin
  • Flies and maggots in the flesh
  • Shell or skin appearing to rot

A dead turtle would ideally show no signs of life. You would find that there is no movement of the lungs. Ideally, you should notice it in the region between the front legs and neck if your turtle is not dead. Even the nostrils of the dead turtle would not show any kind of movement.

How to Revive a Dead Turtle? – CPR Techniques

If you think your turtle is dead due to an accident or some similar reason, it is quite possible to revive the turtle. There are a few possibilities where your turtle might have got choked on something. Such turtles and tortoises can be revived through CPR techniques.

Poking or prodding a turtle can be one of the easiest options to ascertain whether a  turtle is dead or alive. It may at least hiss at you or may move its legs a little. Applying gentle pressure on the tail of the turtle can prove to be one of the excellent options. The turtle would react to this type of pressure.

Here is how the turtle can be revived:

  • Grab the had of the turtle from behind the ears.
  • Turn its head up and tail down to open its mouth. Check if water drips out
  • Keep the turtle on a flat surface and keep the neck extended.
  • Straighten the front legs and pull them as far as you can. Make sure that you are not hurting the turtle.
  • Keep the leg straight and push them as far as you go.
  • Continue pulling and pushing the arm so that airflow enters into the turtle’s system.

How to Bury a Dead Turtle?

There can be a few special ways to bury a dead turtle. First, you need to dig a hole or grave of at least 3 feet deeper. The deeper grave will ensure that you will be able to protect the dead animal from the scavengers and water. You can also use the biodegradable product along with the dead turtle.

The two methods differ in a key difference wherein you will either bury the turtle along with the shell or preserve the shell and bury the rest of the body of the turtle. It would be advisable to keep the dead body of the turtle in the box and bury it. You can even wrap it in a plastic layer, and this can prevent it from decaying. However, we do not recommend using plastic as it is not biodegradable.

If you are preserving the turtle shell, you can bury the turtle in a three-meter grave and let it decompose. The flesh can take anywhere between three months to one year. Once you are sure that the body has decomposed, you can remove the shell for preservation and opt for the different preservation techniques.

How do I Keep the Turtle Shell?

Preserving the shell of a dead turtle can definitely prove to be one of the easiest and simplest options. The first thing you need to opt for would be to remove every remaining flesh and tissue on the dead turtle. Do remember that it would take close to a year for the insides of the turtle to disintegrate.

How to Clean the turtle Shell

You can follow a few of the methods and options for ensuring that the turtle shell is decomposed and removed easily enough. Some of the options in this context can include:

  • Storing the turtle in a metal drum until it decomposes. Of course, the bad odor that it emanates can definitely prove to be quite annoying.
  • Bury the dead turtle in the ground. Then, once it has decomposed fully, you can dig it again and remove the shell.
  • You can even use the cadaver cleaning beetles. For this, you would need to buy it with due care.

There are special types of beetles that most taxidermists recommend for cleaning the dead bodies of turtles or other animals. However, it can take a huge amount of time, and that would extend to up to several months.

Can You Remove the Turtle Shell Without Decomposition?

Removing the turtle shell without waiting for decomposition can be something that may not be easy. The option would be to cut the tissues and bones manually. However, you would find it a little annoying. That would be more so if you have to do it with your pet turtle.

You can follow the steps here for removing the turtle shell without decomposition:

  • Wear gloves when handling the dead turtle.
  • Use a very sharp utility knife for cutting the seam where the skin and shell meet. Avoid the muscle and tissues when cutting the skin.
  • Remove the organs from the abdominal region. Then, remove all the innards carefully.
  • Try removing as much of the flesh as you would want to.
  • The next step involves removing the skeletal structure of the body.
  • Cut the shoulder girdles and pull the legs apart.
  • Scrape off the insides of the shell completely.
  • Let the shell dry for several days and then scrub off the final bits of flesh.

Then scrub off the insides of the hell with hot water and a toothbrush. Do not leave any of the organic matter, as this will aid in the decomposition of the shell, which you do not want to happen with you.

Clean up the shell thoroughly, and then allow it dry for several days.

What to Do With Dead Baby Turtle?

The steps involved in what to do with the dead baby turtle can be the same as in the case of a dead baby turtle. The steps would be the same, but you may not be able to preserve the shell much.

Some of the best options that would be helpful in how to get access to an enhanced experience in terms of what to do with dead baby turtles can be:

  • You can bury the turtle in the backyard.
  • You can even take your dead pet to the vet.
  • You may give it to the taxidermist.
  • You may even contact the animal control

Before deciding to bury the turtle in your backyard, it would be quite essential to check if your region and the laws therein support it. It may also be noticed that some of the cities do not allow throwing away the dead animals as well.

The vets can be one of the excellent options to get rid of your dead turtle. They can dispose it off at a price. On the other hand, a taxidermist would ideally be interested in your dead turtle and want to harvest the shell. You can check out if your area has taxidermists who want to help you.

What to do With Dead Snapping Turtle?

The shell of a dead snapping turtle can definitely prove to be an excellent option for creating an ornamental piece. Furthermore, it can be much easy and simple to preserve the shell of a snapping turtle.

If you find the dead snapping turtle, you can easily clean the snapping turtle shell thoroughly. If the shell still has the animal carcass, you can remove it with a knife or even set it up for a natural decomposition outside the house. Remove as much of the animal tissues as you would want to.

Let the shell dry for a week; this can be quite easy and simple to carefully remove the flesh and bones. Then, you can clean the shell using a shell with a toothbrush and water. Finally, coat the insides of the shell with lacquer to ensure that it works efficiently as a great ornamental piece.

Is it Bad Luck if Turtle Dies?

There are several superstitions associated with turtles. In fact, different civilizations and cultures across the globe have a few beliefs with respect to the turtles and their death inside a house.

Ideally speaking, a dead turtle does not and should not bring any sort of bad luck in your life. In fact, there are several superstitions that would want you to believe that the dead turtle can bring bad luck. Hinduism, for instance, believes that a turtle is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and its death inside the house can be inauspicious. Likewise, there are several religions, cultures, and traditions that would consider the death of a turtle a bad omen.

However, it should be noticed that it isn’t the truth. Unless you believe in those superstitions, there is nothing wrong with the death of a turtle. It is a common option to find a turtle dead. It is a part of the natural process, and there is nothing to worry about the death of the turtle.

A Few FAQ’s

Does a turtle die if it flips over?

Turtles can breathe when they are flipped over, and thus they do not run the risk of dying when they are in that position. It can die only if it is stuck in a flipped position for some reason. Even then, it will not die due to breathing issues, but solely due to lack of food and dehydration.

What should I do with the dead red-eared turtle?

You can either bury it or even keep it. You can simply place the dead turtle on an anthill, and it will be clean in a few weeks. Keep a watch to find the status. Do not bleach the shell as that can damage the shell.

Are turtle shells bad luck?

The turtle shell in most cultures and religions signifies perseverance and protection. That has been regarded in most cultures as an auspicious ornament. In ancient Chinese culture, the turtle shell was considered to be equivalent to longevity.

The Closing Thoughts

The death of a pet turtle can definitely be something you would find a very annoying and sad thing that can ever happen to you. But as is the case with all of us mortals, it is always inevitable for living beings to die one day. So even when it may be quite sad to find your turtle dead, there are a few things that you need to care about what to do with a dead turtle.

You can either bury your turtle and bid adieu to your pet or decide to make it eternal by preserving the turtle shell by following a few measures that would be helpful in paying a very respectful tribute to the departed pet. Either way, it is much essential to take adequate care of the dead turtle and perform its last rites as per your local laws. Of course, a few religious customs may also have a bearing on how to handle a dead turtle.

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