Female snapping turtle 'escaped certain death' after crossing Madison roadway

Madison police officers help save a snapping turtle along a road on the city's south side...
Madison police officers help save a snapping turtle along a road on the city's south side (Source: MPD via YouTube) (NBC15)
Published: Jun. 16, 2020 at 2:52 PM CDT
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A female snapping turtle is lucky to be alive after a passing vehicle appeared to scrape its shell while the reptile crossed a street in Madison.

The Madison Police Department

to recount the miracle, saying that female snapping turtles travel long distances this time of year in order to find a place to lay their eggs.

The close call started last Tuesday night on Industrial Drive on Madison's south side. When a police officer arrived at the scene, she observed that the slowly moving snapping turtle was still on the roadway, and had "just escaped certain death," according to the post from police.

The officer noticed that it appeared a passing car's undercarriage had caused some damage to the turtle, but no serious injuries.

The responding officer first tried to encourage the turtle to move off of the dangerous roadway with a baton, but the turtle responded by opening and shutting its powerful jaws in a threatening way.

Next, the police officer tried to place the turtle onto a plastic sheet, in order to drag the sheet across the wet pavement, but still no avail - police say the turtle's sharp claws ripped through the thin plastic.

That's when a second officer arrived, and advised that in order to move a turtle, one must place their hands just above their rear legs and lift them up. The officer added that the turtle's tail must not be pulled, as the motion could cause serious spinal damage.

"With that, the hoist was made. The turtle was now making rapid progress on its journey, yet continued to show displeasure with human contact," according to the post by Madison police.