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Alligator snapping turtles released into Oklahoma waters


Gazette staff May 24th, 2007

Move over Ninja Turtles. When it comes to mutant-esque reptiles, Oklahoma has you beat.   The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently released 277 alligator snappin...

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Move over Ninja Turtles. When it comes to mutant-esque reptiles, Oklahoma has you beat.

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently released 277 alligator snapping turtles, which had nearly disappeared from the state, into Oklahoma's southeastern waters, The Associated Press reported.

 

Which means CFN intern Bucky is going to give said area a wide berth: Imagine a spiky, prehistoric-looking creature with a worm-like tongue, perfect for drawing unsuspecting prey into its mouth, when "¦ snap!

 

The turtles can grow to more than 300 pounds and relish animal carcasses, according to the story. Yum, yum. Those released were confiscated from a commercial breeder, AP reported. There's an illegal market for them as food and pets.

 

Alligator snapping turtles are on the Wildlife Department's "species of special concern" list, which includes creatures vulnerable to extermination " like the Small-footed Myotis and Three-toed Amphiuma (check out www.wildlifedepartment.com/endanger2.htm if you think we're making these up).

 

Scientists have found 80-year-old alligator snapping turtles, so these could be around for a while, if pollution, trotlines and habitat alteration don't get 'em.

 

So, watch out, Bigfoot!

 
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