Snapping turtle saved by MPD officers after receiving damage to shell

Snappy The South Side Turtle

MADISON, Wis. — A snapping turtle was given another shot at life on June 9 after two Madison police officers moved the animal off of the roadway.

An officer pulled up in the 900 block of Industrial Drive and found a slow moving snapping turtle in the roadway. The turtle’s shell was reportedly freshly scraped. The officer said a passing vehicle had likely caused the damage to the animal’s protective shell.

The responding officer tried to push the turtle off the road with a police baton, but the turtle turned toward her and repeatedly opened and shut its powerful jaws. The officer then tried to slide the turtle onto a plastic sheet to drag it off the wet road, but the animal’s claws tore the sheet.

“I do not have experience with moving a large snapping turtle, so I requested assistance,” the officer said.

A while later, a second officer arrived and explained that the best way to move a snapping turtle is by lifting it with two hands, just above the rear legs.

“Hopefully the turtle will continue to live a long snappy life,” the officer wrote in her report. She also named the turtle “Snappy the South Side Turtle.”