Attack of the killer turtle

. . .try to help a reptile out and nearly lose a finger.

The highway we drive north from here is a kill zone. Dead deer, racoons, squirrels, turkeys, pheasants are common. Today, as we exited one of the small towns nearby, I spotted something in the opposite lane that at first glance appeared to be more roadkill. Suddenly, it moved. As we went by, I saw that it was a large and rather nasty-looking turtle trying to cross the road. Long, scaly tail, greasy looking shell.

My wife being the bleeding heart that she is, demanded that I turn around so we could go back to try to save it from being run over. So back we went and pulled onto the shoulder, emergency lights flashing. Out she steps, walks over to this critter, reaches down to try to pick it up by the shell, and it suddenly springs into action, striking at her like a snake and hissing to beat all hell. It actually stood up on it’s toes and was trying to get at her, it’s head striking whenever it thought it was in range. An ugly fucker, I can say without reservation.

Get away from that goddamned thing, I hollered, and she finally gets back in the car and we leave. I looked it up on the net when we got back: turns out it’s a snapping turtle, which have been known to take off fingers when provoked. Now she’s all gloomy about the fate of the damn thing.

I’ll probably have nightmares.

You do NOT want to frack with alligator snapping turtles.

They are the roitwiellers of the turtle world.

I saw one in the wild recently that was big enough that I could almost get my fist in its mouth.

That chomper could take some fingers off for sure.

Yeah, she’s lucky she didn’t get hurt by it. If it had been me, I would have tried to scoot it across the road with an umbrella, snow brush, or my foot if I were wearing thick shoes. :slight_smile:

There’s a Simpsons quote for everything.

You really tortoise something.

First thing I thought when I read the mouseover text: “Snapper.” We had 'em in droves where I grew up in New Hampshire, and my mom, ever the softie for the poor aminuls, would try to get them out of the road when she saw them. They never appreciated the effort.

Fuck 'em. There’s more where the squished ones came from anyway.

I thought this would be about the murder turtle:

Apparently there are two varieties of these critters: the regular type like we saw, that can extend its choppers half the length of its carapace, and the alligator snapper that looks like some sort of prehistoric cross between a stegosaurus and a turtle and has what look like fangs. I’m going back to Alaska.

Many years ago the ex and I stopped for a snapper trying to cross. We knew what it was and about the killer jaws but had this crazy idea we could insert a big piece of wood into it’s mouth to keep it occupied while we carried it to safety. :smiley: Needless to say, the piece of wood became two and Mr. Snapper was left to his own devices.

I knew it as soon as I saw the OP. I love the things, but yeah, they’re savage little bastards.

That. The long-handled variety.

All things considered, it would be real, real, real unfortunate to find out exactly how thick wasn’t quite thick enough. If you really feel the need to get close to one, always use an inanimate object. A foot, even encased in a shoe, doesn’t count.

:eek: I mean, I know the little tanks do that, but to see one of 'em in action…

I’ve saved two of these ingrates in the past couple of years.

Knowing what they are and their capabilities, I just let them chase me until we’re safely away from the road. They’re ornery and unafraid, but they deserve a chance to die of old age in a nice slimy pond somewhere.

Keep in mind, if they do bite you, they don’t let go until it thunders.:wink:

There ain’t no shoes thick enough, my friend.

What startled and amazed me was the speed of its strike. Who thought a turtle could move like that? It was probably the fastest I’ve seen my spouse move, also.

When I was growing up, my dad carpooled to work with a neighbor, who was well known for his “odd” sense of humor and love of practical jokes. One day on their way home from work, they see a small turtle on the side of the road. Neighbor had never seen a wild turtle before, so he stops, empties his briefcase, and puts the turtle inside. He takes it home, and then asks one of his kids to get him some papers out of his briefcase. They put the turtle in a plastic pool in their yard as a pet.

A couple weeks later, they see another turtle, so neighbor decides to get turtle #1 a friend. Turtle #2 is much bigger, and my dad notices as they get closer that it’s a snapping turtle. He suggests to neighbor that he should give the turtle a poke with a stick, “to make sure it’s not dead”.

So neighbor picks up a stick an pokes it at the turtle. Next thing he knows, he’s holding half a stick, and is being charged by a PO’d snapper. He backs off and jumps into the car, where he has to listen to my dad laughing all the way home.

One might say…gawd forgive me for this one…ninja turtles actually exist.

Better than Chuck Norris turtles I guess.

Master Wang-ka’s tale of amphibian horror.

I almost ran over a huge snapper in the road the other day. He was right in the middle of my lane; I had to wait for an oncoming car to go by, then swing around him on the left. My husband could see him from the passenger side window; he said the little bastard took a snap at my tire as we went by. Fortunately he missed, I can’t afford new tires.