These terrifyingly huge snapping turtles exist, and the FWC doesn't want you to mess with them


  • Photo via MyFWC/Facebook
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission charged a man with illegal animal possession after attempting to smuggle a huge alligator snapping turtle out of the Escambia river. 

While on patrol, Officer Jason Hutchinson came across two "nervous-looking" men boating with fishing equipment. Upon inspection of the boat, Officer Hutchinson found an alligator snapper hidden inside a compartment. The owner of the vessel was charged with illegal possession of an alligator snapping turtle, and the creature was released back into the river.

The macrochelys temminckii, aka the alligator snapping turtle and the scariest looking animal you'll find in Florida, is the largest freshwater turtle in North America. The reptiles can reach lengths of 29 inches and can weigh up to 249 pounds. Their diet consists of acorns, fish, and somewhat unsurprisingly, other turtles. 
  • Photo via MyFWC/YouTube
According to the FWC, the alligator snapping turtle is protected as a State Species of Special Concern by Florida's Endangered and Threatened Species Rule, meaning it's illegal to possess one in any way. 

You can see these monsters in action in the video below, courtesy of the FWC.