How Much Does an Alligator Snapping Turtle Cost?

Last Updated on December 27, 2023
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

One very distinguishable turtle, as well as one of the largest freshwater turtles in the world, is the alligator snapping turtle. It has spiky ridges all along its shell and a beak-like jaw that can bite through almost anything. It has an almost primitive appearance, which is why it is associated with dinosaurs.

These turtles are amphibians, enabling them to adapt to all kinds of different environments, although they like to make their homes in deep, muddy holes in rivers and streams. You can find these incredible creatures anywhere between Indiana and Georgia.

How much does an alligator snapping turtle cost?

The cost of an alligator snapping turtle is anywhere between $40 and $200, depending on factors like where you purchase it from, its size,  quality, and age. The average price of a snapping turtle baby will fall between $40 and $200. Keep in mind that you might be able to snatch a discount of up to 30% if you were to purchase more than one turtle or if you go for an adult specimen.

You might also like our articles about the cost of a box turtle, a pet otter, or a peacock.

On the TurtleTankSetup forum, several members talked about best practices to find an alligator snapping turtle, as well as what you should get when you buy one. Based on the responses of more experienced members, you should be prepared to spend anywhere between $75 and $125 for a baby turtle, while its shipping, when going for next-day shipping services, would cost around $50, for a total bill of $125 to $175.

How much do alligator snapping turtle eggs cost?

If you want to buy Alligator snapping turtle eggs, then these will cost anywhere from $250 to $350 each.

How much does a snapping turtle cost in general?

Breed/Species of Snapping Turtle Average Price
Florida Snapping Turtle $45.99
Translucent Hypomelanistic Common Snapping Turtle $1719.25
Hypo Melanistic Common Snapping Turtle $569.25
Two Headed Common Snapping Turtle $6898.85
Pink Belly Snapper $91.94
Schultze’s Snapping Turtle $68.99
New Guinea Snapping Turtle $56.35
Alligator Snapping Turtle $40 to $200
Albino Common Snapping Turtle $5749.99
Leucistic Common Snapping Turtle $2869.25
Common Snapping Turtle $34.50 to $195.50
Orange Hypomelanistic Common Snapping Turtle $569.25
Pied Alligator Snapping Turtle $517.49
Platinum Florida Snapping Turtle $113.85
Hypomelanistic Pink Alligator Snapping Turtle $517.49
Branderhorst’s Snapping Turtle $86.24

Factors Affecting The Cost of an Alligator Snapping Turtle

It isn’t uncommon for Snapping turtles that belong to the same subspecies to be sold at different prices. But why exactly is that and what are the factors that influence the cost of purchasing these pets?

As with most things you buy, the price of snapping turtles will depend on several factors including:

  • Availability
  • Origin
  • Location
  • Health
  • Size
  • Species

The combination of these factors will either increase or decrease the turtle market rates, but let’s go into further detail about each of these variables.


There are turtle hobbyists that enjoy collecting only a handful of exclusive breeds. As you’d expect, the rarest Aligator snapping turtles as well as hybrids will cost more than more common specimens. For example, you can buy a snapping turtle that is really rare for a price that can easily reach $2,500, while a more common Alligator snapping turtle will only sell for $50 to $200.


Wild-caught snapping turtles will make far worse pets than captive-bred specimens. According to scientists, this is because the ones raised in captivity will be less scared of human contact, making it easier for them to adapt to enclosed environments with people around them.

Also, it is worth noting that it is not only illegal to buy or sell wild-caught snapping turtles in many states, but it is also illegal to capture them. These turtles will also hate being petted. Of course, black market shops will want to buy wild turtles in bulk and then sell them at a heavy discount, but it is always a better idea to buy one from a reputable breeder or turtle shop.


Locations with snapping turtle species more easily available will have lower prices for these reptiles. If, on the other hand, a particular species is not as common in your region, then shops will probably have to ship it from another place, making the price go up.


Eggs that hatch from the same nest can have different health conditions. Also, one of two babies from a nest can have individual physical flaws.

As shops in general, won’t have the possibility of releasing these snapping turtle hatchlings directly in the wild, they might offer you a high discount on the price to get them.

Even though they might have some flaws, these turtles will be accepted by most hobbyists, that won’t have any problem raising and loving them. One of the most popular videos that have traveled the world is the one of the Albino turtle called Hope, who was born with an exposed heart. The pet was taken in by an individual with a kind heart who shared his journey online.

Keep in mind that although it might make you feel good to take care of a turtle with a physical disability, it involves a lot of work and it is a big responsibility. So make sure you are ready for the challenge that comes from a heavily discounted turtle.


The size of the snapping turtle is another factor that is likely to affect its cost. Most of the time, hatchlings are less expensive than adults if all other variables are the same. Considering that shops need to invest extra money to raise the adult snapping turtle, they pass on this cost to the buyer. There is still an exception to this rule.

Most snapping turtle eggs cost more than adults, but they cost more than babies as well.

Alligator snapping turtle overview

There are a few pet stores that have this type of turtle for sale, although the selection is somewhat limited. Interestingly enough, while doing our research, although we did find stores that had these creatures in the past, none had alligator snapping turtles for sale when we called.

The easier route is to just go to a local pet store and have them order one specially for you, or order online from a reputable shop or breeder.

As the alligator snapping turtle is the largest freshwater turtle you’ll find in North America, it can easily reach 25 inches long or even more, while its weight can reach 300 pounds.

These creatures are known to live around 80 to 120 years, just like other turtles, although their lifespan hasn’t been confirmed as of now.

What are the extra costs?

Alligator Snapping TurtleKeep in mind that buying a turtle online might mean that you have to pay shipping costs. You’ll likely spend $50 to $75 on next-day shipping fees. The shipping fees will differ based on your location in the US, but this is a good price point to start from.

Don’t consider these turtles domestic animals, because they are far from it. They will need a shelter that is as similar as possible to their natural habitat and a special cage.

These reptiles like cool swampy places where the temperature is between 75 and 80 degrees, although they have no problem adjusting to most temperatures.

When you keep an alligator snapping turtle in captivity you will have to feed it a naturally balanced diet of worms, mice, and fish. Food alone would cost about $100 per month for this type of pet.

Important things to consider

Alligator snapping turtles are pretty different from common snapping turtles, even though they a very similar name. They come with a milder temperament and are not as aggressive as their relatives.

All 50 states consider the alligator snapping turtle a protected species, which makes commercial trapping illegal by law. Still, a lot are trapped for their meat.

As these turtles won’t lay eggs each year, this affects their availability, so they can get rather expensive. According to experts, most of them will lay eggs once every two years, although they might do this once every 3 years depending on the circumstances.

There are some restrictions in place when trying to own, buy, or sell this type of turtle, according to the Office of the Federal Registrar.

How can I save money?

The best way to cut down on costs is to shop around. Look both in stores and online to find the best deals on alligator snapping turtles.

As stated above, make sure you don’t go for the cheapest option unless you trust the reputation of the seller and you’re sure they are complying with standards set by your local government and wildlife agencies, or you are ready to raise a turtle with issues.

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