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.

See Also: Do You Know What New York's Official State Reptile Is?

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.

See Also: New York State Officials Seize Large Python From Home

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.

The Best "Zoo" in New York is In a Tiny, Rural Upstate New York Village!

There are many excellent zoos in Upstate New York. Most of them (not all) are located in the larger cities like Binghamton, Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester, etc. On the smaller, but no less wonderful size, Zoo New York is a special treat in the North Country (Watertown). But Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, NY (Broome County) stands heads and tails above them all (in this writer's opinion). It does not have all the whiz-bang, sophisticated accouterments one expects at a modern, urban zoo. But what it lacks in that category, it totally makes up for in charm, live animal encounters, and a drive-through zoo experience that is the best in the state. So, while we will never put Animal Adventure Park up against say, the Bronx Zoo and its million annual visitors, we think this rural park is outstanding in every way. Here are a bunch of reasons you should visit this amazing place this summer!