(Originally posted as a wise-ass response to a Pit thread)
Did you know, boys and girls, that the Alligator Snapping Turtle can actually jump off the ground? Not only have I seen it, but have a picture of one in mid-air flight (about 4 inches off the ground) where it lunged at me.
My last close encounter was when me and the SO were in Arkansas. We were driving towards Dogpatch when we both saw a HUGE Alligator Snapping Turtle on the gravel shoulder, about to cross the road. All I wanted to do was get away. I knew what the turtles could do, being a good ol’ Kansas girl. But the SO said “Oh! That poor big turtle is going to be hit by a car! Go out and save it!” Those turtles are EVIL. Ever look in their eyes? The Alligator Snapping Turtle has a strange gleam in it’s eye, that has probably been passed down since the Tertiary period. The gleam says “I’m going to kill you. Just wait and see.”
You can’t shoo them off a busy highway. If you try to go around to their backside, they face off with you, and rotate as you move around them. Then, they lunge and make a sort of hissing noise. Ever had a turtle hiss at you in rage? And the things are HUGE. I mean, a shell about 2 feet by 20 inches, great big nasty jaws, and they must weigh about 30-40 pounds. When they snap their jaws shut, it makes a CLACK! that puts your hair on end.
I’m lucky I didn’t lose any fingers or toes. After it lunged at me a few times, I walked away and searched in the brush by the roadside and found a stick. Then I turned around
AND THE DAMN THING HAD BEEN COMING AFTER ME!
I squealed and jumped back, and it kept stalking towards me, it’s beak-shaped mouth hanging open. Then I noticed 2 guys were standing behind me, watching with amusement. The bigger of the two opened his mouth with a gap-toothed smile and said:
“Do you want that turtle m’am?”
“No, I’m trying to get it off the road. Do you want to help me?”
He looked at me funny for a moment, almost blushed, and said “Naw, we’re gonna EAT it.”
A thousand things came to my mind, and I swear my mouth was hanging open. Then I looked at the poor old turtle, veteran of a thousand skirmishes with dogs, kids, badgers, - looked deep into his reptilian eyes, and said:
“Go for it.”
As I got back in the car, I turned to see the two guys trying to wrap it in a large fishing net, and saw it start leaping towards them in rage. The SO said “Are they going to help that turtle?”
It was a quiet drive to the hotel.
For pictures of the Alligator Snapping Turtle, see:
And OH MY GOD CLICK ON THESE LINKS - This looks just like the one that attacked me!