How to Ship Turtles


My friend Omegamom and her family recently moved from Arizona to Alaska. Since they were flying to their new home, the plan was to ship their pet turtles separately. It wasn't as easy as they thought. My first thought was to just plop the turtles in your carryon bag and be done with it. Last year, I flew to Denver beside a woman who brought her dog in her purse, and the airline never found out. This was after security made me leave my cup of coffee behind. But the risk in this case wasn't worth missing the plane, or the trauma to Omegadotter. FedEx will ship horses, but not household pets. I guess that would include turtles. The UPS website says they will ship turtles, but Omegamom ran into a clerk who didn't like the way she packed them. From what I've seen, she packed them exactly as the turtle experts recommend. The story had a happy ending, when Air Alaska allowed them to bring the turtles as baggage on their flight.

Turtle Rescue of Long Island recommends DHL for shipping, and has a photo tutorial on turtle packing. Turtle Homes suggests you use Airborne Express, as does the World Chelonian Trust. The Mid-Atlantic Turtle and Tortoise Society has displaced and unwanted turtles for adoption, and they will ship them to you (via DHL), but only between April and October, and only if the turtle weighs less than 15 pounds. All the turtle sites I checked advise against shipping turtles in winter. Then I found out that DHL bought Airborne Express in 2003. So if you need to ship turtles, that would be the carrier to contact.