Sunday, September 05, 2010
Watch out for snapping turtles
So, visiting with my neighbors Bob and Shirley here in the Sterling KOA park in Sterling, Connecticut, I asked if there were fish in its small pond. I thought I might try to catch one. But they said they didn't think there was anything in there worth catching. But they said that what is in there are snapping turtles. They said they are aggressive. For example, if a duck were to land in the pond, a snapping turtle might sneak up on it, grab its legs, drag it down, and then have a tasty meal.
I walked around the pond this morning but could not see a snapping turtle. I saw big polywogs, minnows, and every so often a frog would jump from shore into the pond. But I did not see a snapping turtle. Bob camps here a lot and he says you hardly ever see them. But he has seen them on occasion. He said they are about a foot long. I did a little research on Wikipedia and learned they can be a lot longer and weigh up to 75 pounds.
"Snapping turtles are omnivores, consuming both plant and animal matter, and are important aquatic scavengers," said Wikipedia "but they are also active hunters that prey on anything they can swallow, including many invertebrates, fish, frogs, reptiles (including snakes and smaller turtles), unwary birds and small mammals." It also said that "common snappers are noted for their belligerent disposition when out of the water, their powerful beak-like jaws and their highly mobile head and neck."
I have never heard of snapping turtles in the West. Maybe you have. If so, let me know. At the KOA here a sign says, "No Swimming." No kidding.
Posted by Staff Report at 9/05/2010 09:46:00 AM