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Author Topic: still have my Big Snapping turtle.. just turned two years old  (Read 9549 times)
LIZZIE
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« on: October 22, 2007, 07:25:58 AM »

He was a quarter size when we rescued him from a dogs mouth.. he is doing great and growing like a weed..

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Rob
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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2007, 09:49:28 PM »

 jolly1 party Happy birthday :]  party jolly1

He looks great by the way.
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Then question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? But can they suffer?  -  Jeremy Bentham.
LIZZIE
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« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2007, 06:36:45 AM »

Thats sweet.. thankyou...
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Debra
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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2007, 09:37:52 PM »

LIZZIE, you need to read this thread. I am very happy that you saved him/her, but please be prepared to take care of your turtles long term needs.

http://www.badmanstropicalfish.com/forum/index.php/topic,9080.0.html
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LIZZIE
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« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2007, 06:30:14 AM »

Thank you for that lead to that thread.. i have pretty much covered everything that he requires although i did not know about the cuddle bone for calcium..is this requirement the same for a northern snapper..He has the lighting, the heated water tank and the filter and water changes and loves his vegetables and also arow food for protein.. he has a large area for exercise to keep his muscles strong.. i have read quite a bit on the snapper... some say he can never be released again into the wild and others say if you prepare him he can adapt to the wild..i am still in question over this... i have a huge private swamp across the street from me, i would love to see him free again but i also am concerned for his safety although i think that humans are the most dangerous enemy he would come across..also concerned about building up a strong immune system against all natural bacteria and disease that he would come across in the wild..these are the questions i have and wish could be answered..and i will keep researching about..any tips in this direction would be very appreciated..thanks 
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jeme
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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2007, 12:27:43 PM »

Lizzie, I don't know where you live, but locally we have a turtle and tortoise society that is very involved in rescue and rehabilitation.  Maybe there is something similar in your area that could advise you about returning your snapper to the wild, if that's what you want to do, or more information generally.

Julie

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LIZZIE
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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2007, 01:45:53 PM »

i never want to be selfish with a wild creature ..no matter how safe and secure a home is made for him it does not seem fair to him being in captivity.. he should be able to roam free and breed and live the life he was meant to have..if of course this means he would not be able to survive after living a captive life then i would not consider it.. i just want to really know what is best for him.. and these things that i have mentioned earlier in my posts need answers that are based on facts.. it does cross my mind that if something happens to me who will take him and make a home for him.. they live a good 50 years .. I am in New york and i have searched a few times in a quest for answers and i keep thinking that most people just do not know..but i will do this again.. by contacting a wild life specialist .. that is great advice.. i just don't want anyone grabbing him up and carting him off.. some species you really have to be careful of what you reveal..
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Karen
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« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2007, 08:43:58 AM »

Lizzie,
   I worked for the DEC for a bit before grad school as a fisheries biologist.  Among other things I maintained all the native species tanks in the county on public display... including many turtles and snappers.

Releasing him into the wild again depends on what he has been exposed to.  Has he been fed captive bred fish? or fish you caught locally?  Good on you for knowing this predator with a voracious appetite needs his veggies!  Most people miss that.

Got any good thick green mats of algae on that swamp next door?  Toss some of that in... its packed with little buggies and things that will give him almost as much nutrition as the algae itself.  And is a great way to start enhancing his immune system.  Honestly 90% of his immune system is genetic and already in place, that really is ultra low on the worry list.  Using a minnow trap in the swamp, catch him some juvenile blue gill and sun fish... be careful to avoid any Large mouth bass that end up in your trap its illegal to take them.  Toss the fish in... if he can clean the fish out quickly, he has the hunting skills to go to the swamp.

The only worries are what he has been eating, if he has been exposed to some random Floridian parasite from eating tetras that were bred there.... I wouldn't release him as who knows what that parasite will do in the ecosystem.

Watch the time of the year.... if you are going to release him this year... you gotta do it NOW.  He needs time to feed like hell, establish a territory and start the stupor of winter estivation/ hibernation.  You might be better off waiting until next May but give him this winter with his tank temp dropped low for 3 week periods a few times.  I can explain the mechanics of the 3 week low temp periods if you would like.


FYI they live a LOT longer than 50 years.  Where in NY, I still have many good contacts with the DEC, Audubon Society and TNC.
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LIZZIE
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« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2007, 09:44:08 AM »

you are the one person i have been searching for........thank you so much for replying.. i will get back to this note ...i really really appreciate it.. and after i re-read this later i will have some questions for you..
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LIZZIE
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« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2007, 10:22:55 AM »

I do not want to release him until may.. i don't want him to just plunge him into winter, i am in upstate ny... all the advice you gave me sounds great..and i appreciate that you have education and know how about turtles.. I have been feeding him arrowana pellets and frozen silversides and freeze dried shrimp as well as veggies.. i have never fed live fish..but this may be exactly what i need to do in order to prepare him and teach him hunting skills.. I wish to start preparing him by march so that i could release him in june.. please give me all the details to prepare for his freedom.. i love this guy and only want the best for him. i feel relieved that i don't have to worry about immune system that much..but will do what it takes to build that up as well..please tell me everything.... and thank you very very much.
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Karen
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« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2007, 11:23:47 AM »

Where in Upstate?  I have friends in Oswego County, Monroe County, Oneida County, Herkimer County...what ever county Watertown is in, and if I tried I would probably find a few out Buffalo/ Niagra way too.  Heck I could probably cover the whole state above the through way if I tried. 

Go buy a minnow trap..$6 on line.  Put bread in it...toss it in the swamp for 24 hours, Sunny spots seem to work better than shady ones.  Give the resulting blue gill to the turtle. 

If you can't ID a fish in your trap, release it.  Its safer not to guess.  Bluegill and sunfish make great turtle food.  Leave the cyprinids, they are full of ecto parasites, bull head require a permit as do bass, so leave them alone.  Black crappies also require a permit, so don't confuse it with a sun fish...and the little 2" fish you are going to get in your trap are easy to get mixed up.  Look for a single black spot on the dorsal fin... nothing but blue gill (and hybrids) have that.
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LIZZIE
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« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2007, 11:59:48 AM »

Thank you ..i will go through the list of fishes on google and ID them and learn about them through winter.. thank you again for all your good info.. i really appreciate it ..
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Debra
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« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2007, 02:20:17 AM »

Is the turtle a common or an immature alligator? I honestly can't tell from the picture, but it looks like an alligator.

The two turtles are totally different. Different lifespans and adult size.

I only wanted to advise you that you have a potentially dangerous pet. I would not let visitors pet your turtle. I have been bitten many times by both types of (small/young) snappers as a child. But adult snappers can and will bite off fingers and toes, or remove large chunks of skin.

I came across an amazing sight one day. A very, very old alligator snapper was crossing the road. He/she was enormous. I would not have gotten within 5 feet of the monstor. But I was overly excited to have the opportunity to watch it and look at it, from a distance.

Hope that helps. Smiley
« Last Edit: November 05, 2007, 08:37:06 AM by Debra » Logged

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Karen
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« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2007, 05:56:14 AM »

Alligator snappers don't come as far North as NYS.  Chelydra Serpentina is all we have up this way.  I can't imagine an alligator snapper making it North past Kansas or Tenn.

A common snapper over 18" long and more than 85 LBS would be a new world record.  I recall gluing radio homing beacon on a monster so big it couldn't be laid flat in the bottom of a metal garbage can (had to stand on its feet) while we waited the hour or so for the glue to dry.  We learned later we had missed the NYS record snapper by only a few ounces.  (This was while an undergrad at SUNY Oswego.)  My memory tells me this thing was HUGE, but common sense says it was probably about 17" long and 50 Lbs.  Snappers over 45 LBS are REALLY rare.
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LIZZIE
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« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2007, 08:09:33 AM »

I will get more pictures of him later..he is definitly a northern common snapper.. he is about 11 inches across his shell and he was 2 years old this past sept.. he was no bigger then a quarter size when we rescued him..just wondering if his growth rate is normal for being in captivity.. thanks
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Debra
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« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2007, 08:49:49 AM »

Quote
The year 2006 saw the snapping turtle declared the "state reptile" of New York by a sweeping vote of the New York Legislature after being popularly chosen by the state's public elementary school children.

Alligators are southern turtles.  lol I would have loved to have had a camera last spring when I watched the turtle cross the road. Wink

You are the proud owner of the state reptile. Sorry, just some information that I thought was interesting and cute. Common snappers do not grow as large or live as long as alligator turtles.

Good Luck, happy
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LIZZIE
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« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2007, 09:36:46 AM »

It was interesting and i like the alligator turtles too..and i thank you for the info..and i have to admit my pics are not that great of snapper..tonite i will take him out and snap a few better ones..
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Karen
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« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2007, 08:29:25 PM »

I found a web site that shows the growth rates of 5 captively raised snappers.
http://www.chelydra.org/snapping_turtle_growth_charts.html
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LIZZIE
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« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2007, 10:12:27 PM »

Thank you very much..
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elizabeth
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« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2008, 01:06:02 PM »

I still have him and he is still growing and this is the best thread on snapping turtles i have ever read so i want to keep it fresh..may is just around the cornor and freedom is on the schedule...
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elizabeth
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