Reptiles and Amphibians 

Reptiles commonly found injured in Rhode Island include turtles (snapping, box, painted, wood), and snakes (rat snakes, garter snakes.)  Amphibians include red-backed salamanders and wood frogs.

If you find an injured reptile or amphibian

  • Place the animal in a covered cardboard box with a clean, dry towel.  Do not place dirt, leaves or any wet material in the box. 

  • Do not attempt to feed, as an injured reptile undergoing stress will not eat anything you try to give it.  

  • Keep in a cool, quiet, dark place until you can get it to the Wildlife Clinic.  At this time we do not have any private licensed rehabilitators in the state that care for reptiles, so ALL injured wild reptiles must be brought to the Wildlife Clinic for care

  • If you find a large snapping turtle, be extremely careful. They have very long necks and a powerful bite. It is best to use a broom or shovel and gently push it into a wheelbarrow or trashcan.

Baby Reptiles

Most baby reptiles you are likely to find will be perfectly healthy. These include garter snakes and turtles. If you find one of these, or several, they do not need your help. They have probably just hatched from nests buried in the ground and, for most species, it is their first duty to go out and find water. Reptile babies receive little or no maternal care and are ready to find their own food and shelter. Please leave them alone and keep pets and children away!

Turtles crossing the road

If you see a turtle on the road, be sure to move it off in the direction that is was heading. Turtles move purposefully, and whether they’re moving to a breeding ground or nesting area, they will do all they can to get there. 

Remember, it is illegal to take any wild animal into your home and keep it as a pet.