Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Alligator Snapping Turtle

Update (5/11/13): After some review and much discussion with my Swamp Logger and Swamp People TV reality show watchin' friends, apparently my knowledge of the world of repitles is less accurate than I thought.  The turtle below is just a Common Snapping Turtle and not an Alligator Snapping Turtle, the later having a more bumpy shell.  Either way that was one mean turtle.


I was headed to the bike shop on Tuesday for a club group ride when I passed by this cute little fella.

He was about a foot out into the road trying to bite the tires of the cars that raced by.  Usually when I pass by a turtle it's too late.  It looked like I might be able to save this one so, I quickly turned around.  I pulled my truck over the side of the narrow road and put on my flashers.  I popped out of the truck and surveyed the situation.  He was bigger than I thought.  I could tell right away that it was an alligator snapping turtle, and I suspected it was a male.

I carefully grabbed the edges of his shell and lifted him up off the road.  He popped his head out of his shell like a jack in the box and tried to take my hand off, so I promptly dropped him the short distance to the grass.  I picked him up again and he tried to bite me again with the same result.  On my third attempt I was able to put him in the back of my truck.  I headed toward the bike shop again.  My route took me by a small creek.  I stopped and carefully removed my passenger from the bed of my truck and placed him near the creek.

Have a good life Mr. Turtle!

Thanks for reading.