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Posted by Accomplice on December 13, 2002 at 14:09:54:
In Reply to: Hmmmmmm . . . posted by Gamera on December 13, 2002 at 09:11:05:
I know that one major breeder has sold some "beat up" 100+ pounders for far less than $1,000. If you don't care about tails that are shorter, missing claws, thick algae growth or some wear and tear on the shell you can get a monster alligator snapper for a few hundred bucks ($275+). I chalk all that up to the turtle having more character anyway. You know some of these beat up, 60+ year old allis would have some war stories to tell if they could talk. Another option is to spend your $275 on a younger, smaller turtle (12-15 inches). That way you also know that your turtle isn't 100 years old and about to expire of old age.
My 19 inch, 60 pounder is pretty close to perfect from what I can tell (long tail, nice shell, lots of claws) and he was $400 shipped. Looking back it was the biggest turtle I could get for the money and it was supposed to have a unique color to boot. I also think its about the largest sized turtle I'd suggest getting for anybody whose never owned adult snappers before. Even though he's still got as much as 7 inches to grow, his size shocks people who see him. I love my turtle but looking back a 12-15 inch 25-35 pounder would have been an easier turtle for a novice to work with. You could ease into the handling and husbandry as the turtle slowly grew to its monster size. In theory, smaller ones also cost less to feed than a 100 lb. turtle.
So I guess the going rate for 100+ lb. alligator snappers is $275-$1,200 depending on condition. Special color like the yellows can fetch crazy bucks ($5,000). Anything over 200 lbs. is very rare now and probably pretty pricey also. For smaller sizes the price chart on www.turtleman.com seems like a very accurate guide to the market. Hatchlings in the kingsnake.com adds seem to run from $35 to $75 each. Although www.turtlesellers.com is offering pink-skinned alligator snapper hatchlings for only $25 (although the web site says $35 I think). That is the best deal I've ever seen and they're not the standard dark brown.
If you're set on a larger alligator snapper and it doesn't need to be perfect, you can always tell John Richards (turtleman.com) what you want to spend and he'll work with you to find the biggest turtle for your dollar.
:I guess a $1,000 is about the going rate for a 100lb. ali'snap, cause another person just recently purchased another big turt around that price.
:Makes me wonder, what trappers get for their BIG turtles at the fish markets. I wonder if they know that they can make more $$$ selling their turtles to turtle keepers (then again, not too many people out there, that are able to house such a biggin).