Snapping turtle found in St. George

Apr 27, 2022, 12:53 PM | Updated: 1:13 pm
Snapping turtle found in St. George...
The snapping turtle found in St. George. Photo credit: St. George Police Department

ST. GEORGE, Utah — St. George welcomed a new resident on Wednesday. An officer from the St. George Police Department collected a snapping turtle from Fort Pierce, Utah in a resident’s yard. 

According to a Facebook post from SGPD, Officer Allred has taken training on how to pick up snapping turtles. SGPD Animal Service said the turtle is between 32 and 35 years old and is one out of two snapping turtles they have seen in the past 16 years. This is due to the fact that snapping turtles are not native to Utah. 

Are snapping turtles dangerous?

Contrary to popular belief, snapping turtles aren’t as aggressive as their name suggests. Tufts Wildlife Clinic debunked this idea by offering information about how snapping turtles are omnivores and do eat a lot of plant matter. The clinic also said that snapping turtles are not aggressive by nature, but will defend themselves if they feel threatened. 

That said, Tufts Wildlife Clinic warned about the powerful jaws and long necks snapping turtles have. It urged people to not place their hands near the front end of the turtle. Also, the clinic said not to pick up the turtle by the tail if found, as this can injure the bones of the tail and back. 

More on snapping turtles

According to the Tufts Wildlife Clinic, snapping turtles can weigh between 10 and 35 pounds. Also, they can live up to 40 years in the wild. Primarily they stay in the water and are most often encountered during mating and breeding seasons when they come on land. Sometimes, people can observe them laying eggs in their yard. 

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