Snapping Turtle

A young snapper on my front lawn
snapping turtle

This snapping turtle interrupted my lawn mowing.  I didn’t remove it, I went and got my camera, took some pictures and then I just mowed around it. After about an hour it went along its way. I’m going to guess it’s a female looking for a spot to lay her eggs, since this is the time of year they would be looking for a good nesting site. She didn’t lay her eggs on the lawn, they like a more sandy, dry spot that is easy to dig in.

I spotted her over by my laneway, so she didn’t lay her eggs on the lawn, they like a more sandy, dry spot that is easy to dig in.

From everything I’ve read they are supposed to be super aggressive and I have met some that are. This one was very calm and didn’t seem to care much that I was taking its picture, it didn’t even hiss at me.  We certainly don’t bother the turtles so they would have no reason to be afraid of humans, or she was just playing possum and waiting for me to get close enough so she could snap a finger off. If you meet one I would always advise caution.

Adult snappers have very few enemies but the eggs and young are always at risk.  Great blue herons, raccoons, skunks, fox, coyotes, and crows are all happy to make a meal or snack of those not careful enough to keep hidden. And if they think they’re safe in the water, bullfrogs and predatory fish, like bass, for example, all like turtle as well, so it’s a scary world for the young.

Since turn around in the wild is fair, snapping turtles will eat fish and frogs too. Their diet also includes water plants, worms, and snakes.  They will go after small mammals and fresh dead things so they’re known for keeping ponds and small water bodies clean.

Snapping turtles are listed as ‘Special Concern’ that means they aren’t threatened but could become threatened. What does that mean for you if you see one? For the most part, leave them alone. If they are in a high risk area – like the middle of a highway – slow down and give them time to cross. If you believe they are in extreme danger, call it in so someone can come in and relocate them to a safer spot.

It’s aways wonderful to see new visitors to my backyard and this snapping turtle was awesome to see this close up.