How to Clean a Softshell Turtle

by Kirsten O'Hara

Softshell turtles, as the name implies, do not have a hard shell. Their shells are little more than hardened skin. This makes them more susceptible to attack than their hard-shelled counterparts. Soft shell turtles can be found in lakes, ponds and streams. Being carnivores, the softshell turtle can deliver quite a painful bite if he gets too close to you. They are somewhat aggressive by nature but become shy in the presence of humans.

Step 1

Use the pliers to snap the turtle's head off and allow it to bleed for about half an hour.

Step 2

Roll the turtle onto its back and cut off its claws and feet. Next, cut the skin all the way around the shell and pull it off. Cut through the soft spots connecting the shell to the body and remove it.

Step 3

Remove the entrails and the legs, as well as the neck. Remove as much meat as possible while leaving the meat on the bone. Rinse with cold water until thoroughly clean.

Items you will need

  • Pliers
  • Cutting Utensil

About the Author

Kirsten O'Hara started freelance writing in 2010. She wrote for her university newspaper "Lion's Roar" and won several collegiate writing contests. O'Hara earned a Bachelor of Arts in speech communication and a minor in English from Southeastern Louisiana University.