Huge Alligator Snapping Turtle Caught And Released In Oklahoma

June 15, 2018

A massive alligator snapping turtle  (Macrochelys temminckii), estimated to weigh between 85 and 100 lbs. and close to 100 years old, was inadvertently caught in an Oklahoma river by fishermen. Jonathan Van Fleet and Anthony Dover caught the turtle on a trotline and carefully brought it into the boat where they untangled the fishing line and safely removed the hook, according to the Oklahoma Game Wardens Facebook page.  

Posted by Oklahoma Game Wardens on Saturday, June 9, 2018

Van Fleet then called Oklahoma Game Warden Mark Hannah. Hannah came and inspected the old guy. Measurements indicated that his shell was 24 inches wide and 26 inches long. It had a circumference of 23 inches with an overall length of more than 4 feet. 

That is a huge alligator snapping turtle.

alligator snapping turtle

Sista Vongjintanaruks/Shutterstock

Alligator snapping turtles in the state of Oklahoma are a species of special concern.

After the inspection, the turtle was safely returned to the Little River. 

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.

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

Alligator snapping turtles are the largest turtle in North America and the largest freshwater turtle in the world. They are known for their powerful jaw and glacially slow movements. They inhabit river and drainage systems of the Gulf Coast region of the United States and feed on fish, dead animal matter, and small mammals such as muskrats.


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