Creature Found in Phoenix Zoo Pond

During the latest cleanup of the Phoenix Zoo pond, they found a 62 pound “alligator-snapping turtle". This creature has been described as “straight out of prehistoric times” and found living in the deepest part of the pond located in front of the Zoo. The jaws are so strong that they are able to snap off a child’s arm or leg.

According to Wikipedia: “The alligator snapping turtle is the largest freshwater turtle in North America, the alligator snapper keeps to primarily southern U.S. waters, while the smaller, more aggressive common snapper inhabits lakes and streams from South America to Canada. These turtles can remain submerged for three hours. Typically only nesting females will venture onto open land. The Alligator Snapping Turtle is characterized by a large, heavy head, and a long, thick shell with three dorsal ridges of large scales giving it a primitive appearance reminiscent of some of the plated dinosaurs.”

The Phoenix Herpetological Society says that this creature does not belong in Arizona. They feel that it was an exotic pet for someone. More than likely they didn’t want the responsibility of taking care of it and dump it in the zoo’s pond. No one knows how long it has been in there but have the feeling it made meals of ducks, fish and other turtles leaving in the pond.

Apparently the zoo’s pond seems to be a dumping ground for unwanted exotic creatures. The workers have found approximately 600 non-native turtles living in the pond over the past four years alone. This particular creature is not only dangerous for the beings living in the pond but those visiting the zoo.


  1. OMG! The comments about illegal aliens...what a crack up! Sure picked the right place to get dumped, didn't it? (And aren't they so ugly? They always scare me --whether they're in a zoo or the wild!)

  2. Yikes! I would hate to run into that turtle.

  3. When I was little, I remember picking up a snapping turtle in our creek and rushing up to my house to show it off to my mom. She was screaming hysterically and my brother took it away from me. I was so mad! I was like 3 or 4, had no idea it could hurt me. It just looked totally bad-ass. They are my favorite of the turtles. Wish I still had mine (pout)

  4. I was out driving one day when I saw one of these crossing the road. I thought it was a truck tire until I got closer to it.
    And yeah, Alligator Snappers are a whole nuther story from the regular ones. A common snapper can take off a finger, an Alligator Snapper can take off an arm or a leg.

  5. Those turtles live here in Alabama. They aren't that scary. There is one in the nature center where we take the kids. They look and sound meaner than they are.

  6. Thanks everyone for your comments...
    Max; that was a good one and glad you liked it Deep Thinker.

    Courtney; they are ugly little critters unless you are an alligator snapping turtle, lol.

    Heather; I am with you. If they have jaws that strong, I don't want to come across one.

    Sharon; I'm not surprised that you picked one up, you crazy kid, lol. I can see you having one for a pet but it could be Dale's undoing...*critter chomping on wood*

    Gummer; the man at the zoo demonstrated their mighty bite by putting a chicken leg in it's mouth. It bit off the end, bone and all. That was creepy to watch.

    Jessica; thanks for giving another perspective on these creatures. I always enjoy your comments.

  7. Yep, Alabama is full of 'em.... if you're wise you leave them alone.

  8. Strange that so many non-native turtles have been found there!


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