With their serrated shells, big beaks and camouflaged eyeballs, snappers aren’t showing up on the Internet’s lists of cute animals anytime soon, and their grumpy disposition doesn’t help with public relations.
The snapping turtle’s appearance and attitude has conjured many a tall tale of attack and injury – and prompted plenty of folks to turn their shovels, their tire irons, and even their vehicles into tools for turtle execution. No doubt about it, snappers are scary looking.
But hear me out: they are NOT indiscriminately taking people’s toes off, dragging down pets to a watery grave or wiping out the duck population. There’s no need to fear them (beyond that healthy sense of caution that should be applied to all wild animals, even the cute ones,) and there is absolutely no need to kill them. None. Leave them alone. Give them space.
Appreciate them for their prehistoric sense of style and their 40-million-year fortitude. Snappers are an important part of our wetland ecosystems, and they’ve earned the right to ambush tadpoles in our local swimming holes and plod across the driveway unmolested. If you really don’t like them, that’s okay. They don’t like you either – but they definitely won’t kill you over it.