Turtles mostly seem to be peaceful and sedate. But not all of them are! The American snapping turtle is downright aggressive. Hence the name.
On 06.02.09, an escaped snapping turtle started attacking people in Duisburg (Germany), biting wildly. The police had to be called to come and catch the animal.
A Fight on the Streets
First, pedestrians tried to catch the animal themselves. But it was so aggressive that nobody managed to bag it and they had to call the police. The Duisburg police caught it and took it to an animal shelter so it could be looked after. There was no trace of the owner.
Snapping turtles are very aggressive by nature - and especially rude to each other. They prefer to go it alone and the males have even been known to bite each other’s heads off when fighting. Grizzly.
Snapping turtles can also be quite chunky: some specimens are up to 33 lb (15 kg) in weight! That would be like carrying 15 cartons of milk at the same time (while they were wriggling and trying to bite you...).
The American snapping turtle is part of the chelydridae family, which holds the record for the largest freshwater turtle in North America and is one of the largest in the world. The alligator snapping turtle is also part of this family, and can weigh up to 176 lb (80 kg).
Not Allowed as Pets
Since 1999, keeping snapping turtles is not allowed in Germany. Even selling, owning and breeding them are not allowed in accordance with Federal Species Protection Regulations. Only people that have owned their pets for a long time and registered them before 1999 can carry on keeping them.