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I have a red eared slider that is approximately 4 years of age, about 7" (17.5 cm) in girth and about 10" (25 cm) in length. It has an above water basking area that is accessed by a ramp. The basking area has three flat rocks approximately 6" (15 cm) in diameter surrounded by pea gravel. My turtle has recently began using it's hind legs to throw the pea gravel over into the water. In the last two days the turtle has manipulated the large rocks over the side of the platform into the water. Again there are 3 rocks, approximately 6" (15 cm) in diameter, 1" (2.5 cm) thick, weighing a couple of pounds (over 1 kilogram) a piece!

I know the turtle is incredibly strong, but what's going on? I don't know why my turtle is behaving this way. Oh, I'm not sure of gender (OK, I'm not an expert) but he/she has never been around another turtle. Might this be some sort of "false pregnancy" behavior in that it's searching for sand or a softer material than pea gravel to lay eggs?

Otherwise, my turtle is very healthy and behaving as always otherwise. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Turtles can lay eggs without having ever seen a male turtle. Like chickens, they produce unfertilized eggs in this case.

The attempt of your turtle I assume is to gain more room at the land part. This can be for better turn around in "case of emergency" if it want to get fast into the water. Or it can be the search for the best place to lay the eggs. A third possibility is the mating season, where turtles in general want to "walk miles to find a mate" and have a lot of energy.

Case 1: Better emergency exit

Turtles in nature use places to bath in the sunlight that are very near and a little above the water (as deeper as better). So, if they notice some danger, they let drop themselves and are in safety in seconds. If they have such a place to stay in the sun (under their bulb) they feel safe.

Case 2: Gravid, searching for laying eggs

Please see this question for more detail: My female Red Eared Slider, as far as I'm guessing, is gravid

Case 3: Want to walk miles for love

I know some people who let their turtle walk during this times... in their garden, in their rooms and so on. This should be done with caution (For example if turtles are wet, or in cold draught they can get cold very fast and became ill.), but it could be a solution for a happier turtle.

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