New York State Offcials Find Alligator Snapping Turtle Near River
Offcials in New York state said they found quite a surprise when checking a live trap recenlty. What they discovered was a large reptile that not only can grow to be almost 200 pounds, but one that does not normally belong in the state of New York.
Unfortunately, this species' numbers are declining across many of the states they are native to.
Alligator Snapping Turtle Found Near River in New York State
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said that their partners from the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service found an alligator snapping turtle in a live trap in the Genesee River.
While their smaller cousins, the snapping turtle, can be found in the waters across New York, alligator snapping turtles are more common in the American South and are not native to this state.
The NY DEC says they believe this particular turtle was likely a released captive animal.
Alligator snapping turtles are the largest freshwater turtle in North America, and they earned their name from their "immensely powerful jaws and distinct ridges on its shell that are similar in appearance to the rough, ridged skin of an alligator", according to Wikipedia.
They are an opportunistic feeders, and are almost entirely carnivorous. Some alligator snapping turtles have been known to feed on other turtles and small alligators.
The DEC says that the one found in the Genesee River was brought to Cornell University for a health assessment and are working to find suitable long-term placement.
The DEC says that the release of wildlife within the state of New York is prohibited by law except under permit by the department.