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Vermont Museum of Natural History, INC. 

[802] 464 - 0048


7599 VT Route 9
West Marlboro, VT 05363

© 2020 Vermont Museum of Natural History, Inc.


Russian Tortoise   [Testudo horsfieldii]

Average Adult Size: Maximum length of 8 to 10 inches

Basil was taken from the wild as a hatchling in 2008 or 2009 He was kept as an illegal pet for about two years before being surrendered to the Trust for Wildlife.  After staying with the Trust for another 2 years he was passed on to the Museum.   Being completely at ease with people Basil doesn’t “snap” and shows little fear of anything.  Unfortunately, that makes him unlikely to survive in the wild.

Snapping turtles are one of our most common northeastern turtles.  Their ability to withstand frigid winters and adapt to nearly any body of water gives them great tools for survival in the north.  Snapping turtles are extremely successful historically as well. 90,000,000 year old snapping turtle fossils have been found!