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How Much Do Snapping Turtles Cost?

Have you ever bought a product and later found out that the product was highly overpriced? I bet, the next time you want to buy something for the first time, you’ll do some research first to know the market value of the product before buying it. You’ll probably need to get the views of other users who have bought and use the product so you could make your choice. If this sound like you, then  “How Much Do Snapping Turtles Cost” is a must read.

This article aims to help you make the best choice of snapping turtles to get, at what price, and where to buy them.

Hatching and juvenile snapping turtles cost anything between 40 USD – 130 USD while adults cost 150 USD and above. While I can’t guarantee that you’ll get a snapper within this price range or at a certain amount, you should know that price will vary from pet suppliers and also based on the (health) history of the animal.

Hence, this article is more of an information guide stemming from thorough research to help you make an informed choice.

Let’s get into the article in detail.

Snapping Turtles Profile

The snapping turtles got their name “snapping” because they have the habit of snapping at food and potential threats. 

Known for their bulky size and aggressive nature, they’re believed not to be beginner-friendly, especially for kids or families with kids. The snapping turtles have almost flat carapaces and extremely small plastrons that cannot cover their whole body. 

Read our article on snapping turtle facts to learn more.

Hence, the reason they act in an aggressive and defensive way when threatened. Their shells (carapace) range in color from tan to black and olive green. 

How Much Do Snapping Turtles Cost?
Common and alligator snapping turtle together

They also have a long tail that is almost as long as their carapace, and a bulky head with hooked jaws. They do not have teeth. Instead, they crush food and predators with their powerful jaws. 

There are two types of turtles grouped as snapping turtles, they are the common and alligator snapping turtles. These two species of snapping turtles although they have the same basic care requirements are different in looks and temperament. 

Many writers after their research posited that alligator snapping turtles are more aggressive in nature than the common snapping turtles. The fact is that common snapping turtles act more aggressively than alligators. 

How Much Do Snapping Turtles Cost?

Confining an exotic reptile in a cage at home isn’t just about buying the animal and building it a shelter. There are lots of things involved which as a keeper you must have a good knowledge of before embarking on owning a pet. 

One of the things you should know beforehand is a clear knowledge of what it’ll cost you to raise the animal in captivity. By cost, it encompasses both monetary and your time. 

After you have purchased your choice reptile, you’ll need to provide him with a habitat that simulates his natural environment, provide an appropriate diet and ensure that he is fed at the right time and with the right quantity, and also ensure that you make provisions for veterinarian appointments if needed. 

These are just the basics, let’s discuss each of these costs in detail.

Cost Of Common Snapping Turtle

The cost of buying a snapping turtle varies based on some factors such as age (size), subspecies, individual vendors, and even health history. 

Hatching and juvenile snapping turtles cost less than adults. Similarly, the alligator snapping turtle cost more than the common snapping turtle. 

On average, the price of a baby or young/juvenile alligator snapping turtle is between 40 USD – 75 USD. While adults are sold for around $150 or more. On the other hand, baby and young common snapping turtles cost between 30 USD – 70 USD. The adults’ cost between 60 USD – 169 USD.  

A four weeks old common snapping turtle
A four weeks old common snapping turtle selling for $70

Depending on your location and the vendor you buy your pet from, the shipping fee will cost you between 5 USD – 27 USD. What you should note here is that the shipping fee isn’t a constant amount. It will vary based on the economy as well. 

Some vendors have a free shipping package for a certain number of products bought and the distance.

Cost Of Alligator Snapping Turtle

On average, you can buy a baby or sub-adult alligator snapping turtle for as low as 40 USD to 75 USD. Adults will cost you 150 USD or more to get. 

Young alligator snapping turtle
Young alligator snapping turtle

Factors That Affect The Price Of Snapping Turtles

The cost of snapping turtles depends on a couple of factors to include size, age, where you’re buying it from and quality or health condition.


Hatchlings and younger snapping turtles that weigh just a few pounds and require a small enclosure space are cheaper than the adults. They are also easy to care for as they don’t eat as much food as the adults. 

As noted earlier, it’ll cost you as low as 75 USD to get a baby or juvenile snapping turtle of any species. But to get an adult snapping turtle is between 150 USD to 170 USD.


Where you buy your pet animal from can also affect or determine the price. It is not possible for a particular animal to be sold for the same amount at all pet stores. Except such a species of animal is highly protected and its ownership regulated. 

While some pet stores may offer discounts in certain seasons of the year or on the number of goods purchased, some others may sell their snappers at exorbitant rates and without discounts.

Health Conditions/Quality

It is important to note that healthy and quality snapping turtles will cost more than diseased or animals with a history of health conditions. Such pets include animals from the rescue centre. 

These animals usually have had issues in their health while with their former keepers and you must always ask for the history of the pet you want to buy to ensure that it is disease and infection free. 

Chances are that animals with a history of health conditions will have poor immune systems and are likely to get stressed and infected easily in their new environment. To avoid this, always ensure you buy quality and healthy animals.

How Can You Save Money?

Ideally, once you’ve bought your snapper and provide him a standard habitat, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about or spend extra money on aside from food. 

However, if you purchased a diseased or sick turtle, you’ll soon regret it when you have too many visits to the veterinarian in a short while. To avoid this and save yourself some time and money, ensure that you buy a turtle with no health issues. 

Always ask for the health history of any animal you want to buy. Also, know about his behaviors and eating habits. 

Except you are capable of the task of what may arise in the future, DO NOT BUY AN ANIMAL WITH HISTORY OF INFECTION OR ANY OTHER HEALTH ISSUES. There’s always a likelihood that a slight mistake in your husbandry will trigger a disease. 

Moreover, one other thing you should do to save yourself some money is to get a hatchling or a young snapping turtle. The smaller they are, the less expensive to buy and maintain. 

But note that with time, as the animal gets bigger, you’ll need to provide him with a bigger enclosure and increase his feeding. Buying a snapping turtle in summer, when the females are actively breeding can save you some money too.

Wrapping Up

For the past 200 years, many people have had success keeping snapping turtles as pets. Some for breeding purposes and some for its meat. Certainly, you too can successfully keep one even though you’re a complete beginner. 

Snapping turtles do not have too many care requirements that’ll be too complicated for beginners to grasp. They are docile, solitary, and quiet. However, you wouldn’t want to mess around with them, especially when they feel threatened because this can cost you your fingers. 

As an important note, you should read about the basic care guide to snapping turtles, how to set up their habitat, what to feed and how to feed them, and most importantly, their legal status in your state before you embark on getting one.

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