My name is River Cooter!

Turtle - Water for adoption in Baltimore, Maryland - River Cooter

I found a new home!
Plenty of my friends are looking
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River Cooter's Info...

River Cooter's Story...
We don't like fish as much as the sliders do, but we do love our veggies!

My two siblings and I are for adoption and we're juvenile River Cooters (Pseudemys concinna). We can be adopted together or seperately. In fact, the other two are stressing me out some, so unless we have a HUGE enclosure together, I should probably be adopted by myself. Keep in mind that, while we are small now, cooters can get HUGE, up to 14" when full grown!

We are about three years old, but small for our age at 2.5" - 3". We've picked up size recentlly though, and are hitting a growth spurt. We can be adopted together or individually. We had a rough start in life at a wholesale facility, and as a result our shells look a little rough, and we didn't grow as well as we should have the first couple of years, but now we're improving and want our own home! Otherwise, we're healthy and active. We've been eating Mazuri aquatic turtle pellets and greens such as Romain, plaintain weeds, and clover, as well as thin slices of carrot or sweet potato. In the wild, we would be eating lots of aquatic vegitation. We LOVE water hyacinth and floating salvinia, so a fenced-in backyard pond would be really good for us in the summer - we can live in a pond year-round once we go outside next summer, but we have to spend this winters indoors because were weren't adopted in time to acclimate to the outside.

Our foster home can't tell if we're male or female, and won't be able to tell until we're about 5" or so. HOWEVER, my two bigger siblings are "fluttering" at each other, and that sometimes means they're boys (boys like to "flutter" at the girls to get their attentiong or to show off how studly they are). Each of us would do well in a 20 "long" tank for now, or in a 55 gallon tank all together, but we will quickly outgrow that. When full grown, each of us will need a 75 gallon tank or even larger - feamles need a 125 gallon tank when full grown, or a backyard, fenced-in pond.

We're very similar to sliders, except we like our greens a lot more, and the pond fish a lot less. So, we probably won't even try to eat any koi or goldfish.

A good book to learn more about cooters, even if it has a funny name, is Red-Eared Sliders (Animal Planet Pet Care Series), available in Petco stores or Make sure it's one of the Animal Planet books.

Review the aquatic turtle care sheet to learn more about caring for a cooter or slider.

Maryland residents would need to acquire a DNR Captive and Reptile Amphibian Permit if they adopt a turtle under 4". Since these are non-native turtles, once they're 4", you don't have to renew the permit. The permit is $25 a year and must be renewed in December so long as the turtle is under 4" in top shell length.

Cooters and redbellies can live for 20 years or more, and can grow to be 8-12" for males, and 8-14" for females. They need large indoor aquariums or ponds, a basking spot, and water filtration. Indoor ponds and aquariums require a haul-out spot, a.k.a. basking spot, a heat light over a basking spot, a UVB light over the basking spot, a high-powered filter, and usually a water heater. Outdoor ponds must be in an escape-proof yard or the pond itself must be escape-proof. If you have a backyard pond, the turtle can't go outside for the first time until May, but can live year-round outside after that.

If using an aquarium, a good rule of thumb is roughly 10 gallons per inch of turtle (straight carapace length). So, a 6" turtle will need at least a 55 gallon aquarium.

You must complete an application and if approved, supply pictures of set-ups before taking a turtle.

Request an adoption application from Please include your CITY and STATE when contacting MATTS.

PLEASE HELP OTHER TURTLES by spreading the word - baby turtles grow into big turtles! They do not stay small - they do not grow to the size of their enclosure! Please don't buy hatchling turtles at vacation tourist spots.

Facts about River Cooter

  • Species: Turtle - Water
  • Age: Young
  • Size: Large
  • Sex: Unknown

Other Pets at Mid-Atlantic Turtle & Tortoise Society

Why Adoption is a Great Option

River Cooter, a Baltimore Turtle - Water was adopted! Here's how you can benefit by looking at adoption as an option to buying a Turtle - Water for sale in Baltimore, or seeking a Turtle - Water from a breeder in Baltimore.

  1. Rescues and shelter volunteers in Baltimore already know the personality and tendencies of their pets. This means they can match you with the right pet. That will makes it much easier transition to owning a pet for yourself and your new pet.
  2. On average adoption fees are much less than you'd pay a Baltimore breeder, or pet store. Plus most often rescue pets have already been to the veterinarian for a check-up, had a round of vaccinations, and are spayed or neutered. That is a lot of savings!
  3. You will become a hero, and give a needy dog or cat a loving home. In fact, there are even Turtle - Water breeders who help with Turtle - Water rescue. One puppy or kitten adopted in Baltimore paves the way for another one to be saved.