Do Raccoons Eat Turtles? 6 Ways To Protect Your Turtles

Jan 14, 2022

Do Raccoons Eat Turtles?

Commonly known as trash pandas, raccoons are sly animals that enter and exit after vandalizing our houses without a hint.

Just like turtles, raccoons are omnivores, too. They enjoy a wide range of diets consisting of pretty much everything under the sun. 

It is not uncommon that our houses get raided by these pesky animals every year. 

So, do they pose any threat to our beloved turtles?

Let’s find out.

Do Raccoons Eat Turtles?

Yes, raccoons will definitely eat turtles if they get the opportunity. They exhibit a real threat to turtles because they are pretty good swimmers despite their heavy size. This means that they can hunt down a turtle in the water, too.

Due to their sharp smelling prowess, raccoons are infamous for smelling turtle eggs buried under the earth, unearthing and eating them. 

They can clear out a turtle’s nest within minutes. 

Even though a turtle’s sturdy shell offers good protection, these devious animals will still find ways to crack them open. 

Therefore, this is alarming for every turtle owner who keeps turtles in outdoor ponds. 

Things can even get out of hand if these animals come in gangs to raid. Not only are they a threat to your turtles but to your family as well. 

Adult raccoons get aggressive quickly and will not hesitate to show their biting deftness by harming humans, especially children. 

So, let me briefly explain how you can protect your turtles living outdoors from becoming a raccoon’s dinner. 

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How To Protect Your Turtles From Raccoons?

Here’s how you can protect your turtles from raccoons:

  • Put up a wire mesh over your pond
  • Keep baits
  • Keep a watchdog
  • Enclose the pond with an electric fence
  • Install solar predator control diet
  • Get a stock tank

Put Up A Wire Frame/Mesh

Putting a mesh netting will not be enough to protect your turtles from raccoons. These cunning animals will easily tear down the cover and run off with turtles before you even make it to the porch.

So, it is necessary to get an impenetrable cover, like the chicken wireframe, to keep the pesky raccoons out. 

Keep a removable bolt to let your turtles out during the day. 

Keeping this kind of metal mesh will protect your turtles from raccoons and other land predators, and birds of prey. 

Here’s a mesh netting that keeps off predators like raccoons from your turtle pond:

Keep Baits

Some outdoor experts keep the bait in an enclosure to trap raccoons. However, make sure the incentive is more of an exciting food than the turtles. 

By trapping one, you will be able to stop the raccoon from returning to its family to report back its finding. This will prevent hordes of raccoons from coming to your backyard.

Remember that these traps should not be lethal – otherwise, you can face legal charges. 

Only use Havahart trap. Avoid coon cuff or dog-proof trap. 

Get one to catch one. So, here’s one:

Keep A Watchdog

It is not said in jest that dogs are a man’s best friend. They will, in fact, protect your turtles from getting hunted by raccoons. 

Their ability to smell peculiar wild animals is even better than a raccoon’s. So, naturally, this will immediately alarm your dog, and they will come out barking. 

And there is also a high chance that the raccoons will smell the presence of dogs and will not dare to approach the vicinity.

But first, you need to ensure that your dogs are not aggressive toward turtles. Many have reported that their canines pounce upon their turtles whenever they are near.

My dogs aren’t hostile towards the turtles, but I cannot vouch for every dog. 

Surround With Electric Fencing

Some of you might think this is a tad too overkill, but this is an effective method to keep raccoons away from your turtle pond. 

The modern electric fencing comes with a timer that automatically activates at night. This is when the raccoons are most active. 

This auto-switch feature will protect your children from getting an electric shock while playing outdoors during the day. 

Inspect whether there are any loose ends from where the raccoons could enter. If only one raccoon finds its way into your turf, it will devastate the entire area.

Install Solar Predator Control Light

These lights are effective in deterring raccoons as well as other animals from entering the backyard. In addition, they are solar-powered and save you the hassle of frequent charging.

These predator lights imitate the predator’s eyes and scare them from coming near the turtle’s zone. 

It also works in repelling other nocturnal predators than just raccoons. 

Check out this solar predator control light from Predator Guard.

Get A Stock Tank

Despite your best efforts, If your turtle pond is still being raided by raccoons, you should withdraw your turtle back into the house. 

You can get a stock tank, which can hold up to 300 gallons of water. This will be enough for any adult pet turtle. 

It has an advantage over an outdoor pond because it costs cheaper. Furthermore, it is easier to maintain water temperature and optimum water conditions. 

Here’s a 300-gallon stock tank that I use for keeping my turtles indoors.

Can You Keep Turtles And Raccoons Together?

Some avid pet lovers tend to keep raccoons. And if you are one of them, remember that raccoons are wild animals and have aggressive temperaments. They are bound to snap quickly and can hurt your turtles. So I wouldn’t recommend keeping them together with turtles. 

Are Raccoons Legal To Keep?

Surprisingly, raccoons are legal to keep as pets in the US. However, not all states allow that. Some states where raccoons are banned from being kept as pets are Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Arizona, Colorado, and Idaho. 

If you want to keep raccoons as pets, get them from a reputable breeder. A word of caution: never bring a wild raccoon home.

Can You Kill Raccoons If They Come Into Your Home?

Yes, it is legal to kill a pesty raccoon which has been causing a lot of trouble. However, you need to have a hunting license and make the killing as humanely as possible.

Do not use poison or body-gripping traps to kill one. 

Final Words On Do Raccoons Eat Turtles

Raccoons have a habit of dousing their food in the water before eating. Hence, they will come back even if you withdraw your turtles from the pond. 

They are messy and will devastate your pond’s aesthetics. So, even if you are not keeping turtles, I recommend you follow the practices as mentioned earlier to keep them off these galling raccoons from your area.

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rohit gurung author at urbanfishkeeping

About Rohit Gurung

My never-ending love and fascination with Aquascaping started when I received a red-eared turtle for my 10th birthday.

Apart from researching and writing, I spend hours gazing at my 3 turtles. And yeah, I bask alongside them too.