Alligator snapping turtles aren't found in Oregon very often, but one turned up last Friday (Oct. 18). The alligator snapping turtle is considered to be an invasive species that is typically found in its native southeastern United States habitat. According to a report from Wednesday (Oct. 23), a fisherman at the Prineville Reservoir in Oregon was shocked when he came across one. He reported it to wildlife experts who apparently jumped into action.
The risk of having this animal in an ecosystem is that it threatens the populations of other animals. This is reportedly a really exotic animal that cannot simply be relocated due to its aggressiveness. Rick Boatner of the Oregon Department of Wildlife stated that, "their large size, aggressive behavior and very long life span makes them difficult to place We already have problems in the Willamette Valley with common snapping turtles. I’d hate to see these turtles get established in Oregon."
In regard to that size, they can apparently weigh at least 220 pounds and one report from 1937 even had one at 403 pounds in Kansas. The theory about how this particular alligator snapping turtle got to Oregon is that it was released by someone who had it as a pet but could not deal with it when the size became an issue. That's a common problem when it comes to wildlife, though it is typically snakes that fall into that category. With the inability to place the animal somewhere else without putting another ecosystem at risk, they simply euthanized this one.
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