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500 Year Old Alligator Snapper?


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Posted by Accomplice on January 22, 2003 at 10:12:51:

A guy named Al Redmond trapped alligator snappers for years on the Flint River in SW Georgia (one report stated that 3-4 tons of alligator snapping turtles were pulled from that river DAILY at one point).

Some interesting info. I found on wildamerica.com:

"Al Redmond has stopped killing snappers and committed himself to their survival. Still, his Turtle trapper tales are compelling.

Al Redmond:
As we was butchering these larger turtles that come off the Flint River, we noticed cracked shells, indentations in the shells, and as we was slaughtering these turtles, we started finding Indian artifacts--arrowheads, spear-points, where they had been shot and imbedded. Usually in the tenderloin in the back would be a large growth. Sometimes you could see part of the point sticking out, sometimes it was totally covered up. And something else, too. We was finding musket balls. this right here, and also the 50 caliber sharps bullet was used during the Civil War which was in the early 1860's, are found several of these where they had shot these larger turtles. We knew these turtles was old, but we didn't know they was that old.

Marty narration:
Now Al traps adults like this large male for breeding purposes only. Each year he releases thousands of baby snappers back into their former range.

Al Redmond:
This turtle we caught in a trap right here. You're looking at that turtle right there. I haven't weighed him, I'm guessing 145-150 pounds. So you're talking about a 200 year old animal. These turtles do not average a pound a year in the wild. There's no way. So, if you look back at the big one we caught, you know, a 316 pound turtle, you could very easily be talking about a turtle 500 years of age. And I seriously believe that. Oh, it's gonna take a lot of work to save these turtles. You know, this is one of the largest fresh water turtles in the world, so he's worth saving."





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