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What happens if you get bitten by a turtle?
Question Date: 2017-01-31
Answer 1:

Thanks for the great question!

Turtles bite when they feel a need to defend themselves. For small turtles that people keep at home as pets, bites can be painful, but with standard first-aid like rubbing alcohol and Band-Aids these bites are not usually very serious or dangerous. If the bite isn’t healing, it’s often a good idea to see a doctor to make sure the bite isn’t infected.

However, for wild turtles, bites can be very dangerous. The snapping turtle, for example, gets its name from its very painful, and fast, bite. These animals live in shallow water all along the coast from Canada to Florida, meaning people often come in contact with them.

Every year, people get bit by these turtles, often on their fingers or toes. In the most severe cases, the bite can even amputate, or remove, one of these appendages!

Less serious bites from a wild turtle are still dangerous because of the risk of bacterial infection. The skin protects us against germs, and so a bite that breaks the skin lets germs in. So, if bitten by a wild turtle, it is best to go to the doctor to make sure the bite is not infected.

Thanks for the great question! Best, Spencer

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