Two Men Arrested For Poaching 80-Year-Old Alligator Snapping Turtle

April 18, 2018

Acting on a tip regarding a poached alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii), Oklahoma game wardens arrested two men April 13 for poaching the reptile, which is considered endangered in the state of Oklahoma.

#TurtleTroopers #EndangeredSpecies On the evening of April 13th 2018 Game Warden Billy Bob Walker (Marshall County)...

Posted by Oklahoma Game Wardens on Monday, April 16, 2018

Wardens Curtis Latham and Trey Hale were given a vehicle description and tag number by Oklahoma Game Warden Billy Bob Walker, who received the tip from the Tishomingo U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Latham and Hale went to the residence of the alleged poacher and found the deceased turtle in the back yard. 

Alligator Snapping Turtle Information

According to the Oklahoma game wardens Facebook page, the driver of the vehicle had outstanding warrants and he was immediately arrested. The second suspect admitted to shooting the turtle in the head after they caught it with an illegal throw line in the Tishomingo Management Unit. The men were cited for illegal taking of the endangered reptile. Both suspects $989 citations for their actions and up to $5,000 in restitution. 

Alligator snapping turtle

Ryan M. Bolton/Shutterstock

Alligator snapping turtles are protected in the state of Oklahoma, Killing, possession and trapping of this species is prohibited. 

The alligator snapping turtle weighed about 78 pounds and was estimated to be 75 to 80 years old. Alligator snapping turtles in the state of Oklahoma are a species of special concern, and thus cannot be take from the wild at any time of the year. The trapping, possession, or killing of these turtles is prohibited. 


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