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Injured Snapping Turtle Found In Trash Can Lays 51 Eggs

An Ann Arbor, Mich. area veterinarian successfully hatched 28 baby common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) after their mother was found badly in

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An Ann Arbor, Mich. area veterinarian successfully hatched 28 baby common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) after their mother was found badly injured in a department store trash can in June. An employee at the store was emptying the trash when the snapping turtle was discovered in the can. The employee took the turtle to Emergency Veterinary Hospital Ann Arbor where she was treated for facial injuries, laid 51 eggs and then died from sepsis. Of the 51 eggs, 23 didn’t survive due to lack of fluid in their shells.


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Common Snapping Turtle


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Dr. Lindsay Ruland told Mlive.com that Mama Kohl was more than a foot in carapace length and was likely hit by a car in the mall parking lot. She had a broken jaw and was suffering from sepsis. Ruland was about to euthanize the turtle when an x-ray showed she was full of eggs. Staff at the clinic induced labor on the turtle twice to get the turtle to lay all of her eggs. Mama Kohl later died in July due to sepsis.

Ruland is working with the  Michigan Department of Natural Resources on a plan to release all of the snapping turtles into the wild.

Common snapping turtles are large turtles that can grow to more than 30 lbs 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.