by Sophia Delaat, Guest Blogger
This beauty we found in our horse corral. It must be a she, not only for her beautiful smile, but because females are known more than males to travel overland in the spring to lay their eggs. Males leave their pond when they are forced to relocate because the pond has dried up. Most of us are familiar with the snapping turtle, because we see them dead in the middle of the road. People have little sympathy for these creatures, not only because some consider them ugly, but because they have been known to bite and tear a cow’s udder while she is refreshing herself in the pond.
Snapping turtles eat insects, crayfish, snails, earthworms, snakes, small mammals, birds (how they catch them I do not know) and aquatic plants and carrion. You can hunt them, but will need a permit from Fish and Game. I am surprised to learn that snapping turtle make a great soup or stew, and they offer a variety of meat tastes…some say seven different tastes.
When I posted these pictures on Facebook, I received many responses ranging from how prehistoric they look to “Don’t pick a snapping turtle up by its tail.” It is true that you must be careful. Missouri Fish and Game suggest a professional should remove a snapping turtle from your property, because you can’t be too safe as these turtles have strong necks and a nasty bite.