Officers with the Fort Collins Police Services in Fort Collins, CO happened upon a wayward snapping turtle on a busy roadway. The police officer caref
Officers with the Fort Collins Police Services in Fort Collins, CO happened upon a wayward snapping turtle on a busy roadway. The police officer carefully picked the turtle up, which proceeded to snap its jaw as it was picked up. The officer then carried the turtle off the road and into a field, out of harm’s way.
Fort Collins Police Services posted a video of the encounter on its Facebook page September 13 with the following paragraph:
Officers recently found this slow poke playing a perilous game of frogger on a busy roadway. We’re not sure where he was headed, but our best guess is that he ran out of gas and was looking for a Shell station. For the safety of passing motorists and the wayward turtle, officers snapped into action. We’re glad to report that this reptile rescue was successful and our new friend Leonardo was removed from harm’s way!
The social media post garnered 21k views, 142 comments, and 258 shares. “And the turtle didn’t pee on the police officer!” one commenter wrote on Facebook. Thankfully, the officers arrived at the scene in time to help the reptile cross the road, as turtles are often run over. Some are even purposely targeted by unseemly individuals, as a 2013 Clemson University study detailed how seven drivers over the course of an hour tried to deliberately run over a decoy turtle.
This isn’t the first time law enforcement officers helped a snapping turtle cross a road. In 2018, the Durham Police Department in North Carolina posted a photo on social media showing one of its officers carrying a snapping turtle across a two lane road in town.
Snapping Turtle Information
Common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) are large turtles that can grow to more than 30 pounds with a carapace length approaching 20 inches. The can be found throughout much of North America from the Rocky Mountains to Nova Scotia in the north down to Florida in the south. The are known for their powerful beak-like jaws and aggressive disposition. Snapping turtles are one of five aquatic reptiles in the state of Colorado.