An alligator snapping turtle was eaten by a Texas man after police warned him that he was not allowed to keep the threatened species.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, one alligator snapping turtle photo shows a catfish angler holding a 100 pound specimen that he accidentally snagged with his reel while fishing at Lake Eufaula in Oklahoma. Although many people were so impressed with the photo that it went viral, it turns out the largest alligator snapping turtle ever caught may have easily been three times the size and weight.
Police in Longville, Texas say 36-year-old Timothy Anderson had caught an Alligator Snapping Turtle on a fishing pole on the Sabine River. But keeping it is illegal, and Anderson plead guilty to the offense in addition to citations for not having a valid fishing license.
The man was issued a warrant by the Gregg County Game Warden since he failed to pay the fine associated with possessing an alligator snapping turtle. Unfortunately, when the Gregg County Game Warden arrived at Anderson’s home, the alligator snapping turtle was already dead. Anderson had already cleaned, cooked, and eaten the rare turtle. In addition to possession, it’s also illegal to hunt or harm an alligator snapping turtle, making this turtle snack an expensive one indeed.
The National Wildlife Foundation says that “Alligator snapping turtles are declining due to habitat degradation and overharvest for their meat. They are not an endangered species, but some states have imposed bans on collecting them from the wild.” According to KETK, the International Union for Conservation of Nature first listed the turtle as “threatened” in 2006 and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora also granted it some international protection.
Police arrested Timothy Anderson and is charged with a class C misdemeanor and could face jail time, a fine, and civil restitution based upon the value of the turtle.