Turtle First Aid - Turtle Shell Preservation
Preserving your turtle’s shell after it’s death
Here are a couple of ways of preserving your turtles shell after it’s death. A natural way to do it is to bury your turtle in a composite pile, make sure you remember where you buried it. Another option is to bury it someplace where it’s going to be moist all summer long. Check on the progress of the shell every couple of weeks. The disadvantage to these methods is that they may cause damage to the shell.
If you want to speed up the process, here is an alternate method (although it doesn’t sound too appealing to me). After your turtle has died, you can cook (simmer) it for a long while, and the soft parts will eventually fall off. I have read that it causes a very bad smell.
Professionals use several kinds of acid solutions instead of the cooking method. Acids are dangerous. So if you’ve never used them before, I recommend not using this method. Besides, this method may turn your stomach because it looks and smells very bad.
Note: A baby turtle shell is harder to preserve because the shell is very small and their bones are not calcified all the way yet