Alligator Snapping Turtle

A fisherman, Steve Bellion aged 23, was out at Earlswood Resevoir angling for carp when he caught a little more than he bargained for. He managed to reel in a 57 lb (27 kg) reptile!

He dragged it to shore where it was easily identified as an 80 year old alligator snapping turtle. This is a rare catch indeed, as these turtles are generally only found in the eastern corners of the United States.

This has solved a rather puzzling mystery for the local fishermen. There has been many a tale told for a decade, of a giant creature biting through lines and roughing up ducks.

Alligator snapping turtle Crikey! Alligator Snapping Turtle Caught in England!

Alligator snapping turtle

The ancient Alligator Snapping Turtle, identified as being female, was transferred to the West Midland Safari Park, where it is going to be held in quarantine for the customary 30 days and checked over by the veterinary team there.

Alligator Snapping Turtles can live to be 160 years old, making it one of the longest living creatures to be hauled to shore in the area.

Once it has finished being checked over, it will be transferred to a vivarium with a male of the species.

“They have been known to attack small domestic pets or children, but I don’t think this one would have drifted to far from the water.” stated the director of wildlife at the safari park, Bob Lawrence. At first glance it seems that the turtle is in perfect health, as it should be after gorging itself on the local wildlife.

He went on to add that this really brings to light the danger of introducing foreign species into Britain’s waterways, much the same way that American signal crayfish have created quite a dip in the UK’s national crayfish population.