Snapping turtle found dumped in Kent


A snapping turtle was discovered abandoned in a cardboard box in Dartford on Monday.

The Common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentine), measuring around 35cm/14" in length, was found at the roadside in Hawley Road.

It is now being cared for by Dartford-based charity Artisan Rare Breeds.

The charity's director Wayne May said the turtle was "extremely aggressive", adding that such behaviour is common for the species.

Snapping turtles have very powerful jaws that come together quickly and combined with the highly mobile head and neck (which give rise to the species name "serpentina", meaning "snake-like"), this is an animal that should be handled with great care, if at all.

May explained that these turtles were capable of biting the fingers off a small child and making a real mess of the hand of a adult.

Due to its volatile nature the turtle will not be re-homed and instead will remain in rescue for its whole life — which could be 30 years or more.

May said that if the turtle had escaped into the wild it could have "devastated" local wildlife such as frogs and newts.

He added that he thinks the species should be licensed because of the danger it can pose the unwary.

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