Turtle sticks its neck out in Bruges

One large Snapping turtle captured Credit: SOS Reptiel

Older readers may remember the days of tortoises as pets, they were relatively easy to care for, didn’t run away and hibernated over the winter.

Not quite so cute are terrapins or as they are known in the USA and Canada, freshwater turtles as they can be quite aggressive.

Dangerous Snapping turtle discovered

One such species is the Snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) which is native to North America but although hardly a plague, there are significant numbers living in the wild in Europe, especially for some reason Italy.

The only way they could have been introduced is by pet owners discovering how potentially aggressive and difficult to care for they are once they have become adults.

A rather large and somewhat belligerent example was spotted by a walker in a public area of open land near Bruges in Belgium.

Recognising that this was no ordinary reptile, he contacted SOS Reptiel – Reptile Rescue Centre Belgium and they immediately recognised it as a potentially dangerous creature and captured it.

Powerful bite could hurt a dog

Although having a powerful bite which could certainly cause damage to fingers or dog paws, because they are top predators in the local pond, the Snapping turtle tends not to attack humans.

This specimen has joined 15 more, some of which are much larger and will now be found a safe home in a zoo or rescue park.

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Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing newsdesk@euroweeklynews.com, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page www.facebook.com/EuroWeeklyNews


    • Peter Dare

      24 May 2024 • 10:40

      Years ago, when my children were young, we had three small terrapins that were kept in a large glass receptacle. There was water and an island feature. We fed them suitable food. One morning one of them was dead and appeared to have been attacked and eaten by the others. A day or two later a similar scene greeted us, which left only one. We abandoned the pet exercise shortly afterwards.

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