Letter Re: Surviving on Reptiles and Amphibians in a Worst Case Scenario

Concerning the article posted Thursday Sept. 20th, Surviving on Reptiles and Amphibians in a Worst Case Scenario by Misphat, something that that I felt needed clarifying in the article, was concerning what type of turtles.   To make sure that everyone knows that Misphat is talking only about water turtles, the red-ears, sliders, soft shell turtles and the snapping turtles, for only a small example.  The ones found in water or the ones sitting on the log and then sliding into the water when you get too close, there is no problem with eating them. 

My concern is with the box turtle that “could” be found close to water.  It is my understanding, of at least 30 plus years married to a herpetologist, that box turtles should never be eaten because they can eat mushrooms that are poisonous to us humans.  The toxins from those “fungi” can be stored in the tissues of the turtles. 

I couldn’t find it written in any of my books and wanted to see if this could be an “urban legend”.  After doing a google search and reading turtle forums, (I understand that you can’t believe everything from the internet), I found that supposedly the Native Americans did not eat box turtles and that other “predators” could get sick after eating them.  It would be nice to hear from anyone else and see if they agree or not. 

I am not talking about the various “land” tortoises found through out the states, this is only about box turtles.  If this could help just one person not get sick, especially in a SHTF scenario then good.

By the way, I found an interesting web site on turtle cleaning.
Thanks and God Bless, – Ann D.