• Last modified 899 days ago (Aug. 1, 2018)


‘Alligator’ spotted at pond

Staff writer

Marion County dispatch received a call Tuesday about an alligator spotted at the Hillsboro pond.

Hillsboro assistant police chief Jessey Hiebert said the call came from a youngster. He checked it out, and it was determined to be an alligator snapping turtle.

“There are several turtles living at the lower end of the pond,” he said.

Research has revealed that alligator snapping turtles are not ordinary snapping turtles. They have shells with raised spikes and are much more intimidating.

They rarely are seen on land and spend most of their lives under water. Their shells often are covered in algae, which makes them look like rocks, and their pupils are surrounded by excess skin, making them hard to spot.

Alligator snapping turtles have some of the most powerful jaws of any reptile. They can crush fish, fruit, broom handles, and in some unfortunate instances, human fingers. Their bite is extremely quick.

Last modified Aug. 1, 2018