Shala Holm was born in Buffalo, Minnesota. Shala came upon a massive snapping turtle months ago, but her photo just recently became viral.
The image depicts the turtle’s huge claws reaching for a net full of fish, with its Godzilla-like head leading the way. From the photograph alone, it is evident that this turtle is bigger than others.
This summer, Shala and her family spent their yearly vacation at Niemeyer’s Rugged River Resort in Brainerd. Holm and her daughter were in a tandem kayak when they first saw the animal.
When Holm turned to search for something more common on the beach, she was surprised to discover the turtle’s snout going towards a fish basket suspended from their kayak.
He kind of clawed his way onto it, she said. He was huge, and we were taken aback.
Holm shook the basket until the turtle swam away, scaring it away.
The mother and daughter returned to the site the following day in their kayak, curious if they could locate it again to take a shot. They entertained themselves by catching fish till the turtle returned.
The mother and daughter weren’t sure of the actual size of the reptile in the water, but they were very convinced it was a snapping turtle with legs around the size of Holm’s wrists.
Adult snapping turtles are 8 to 14 inches long and weigh 10 to 35 pounds, according to the state Department of Natural Resources. The largest turtle ever recorded in Minnesota weighed in over 65 pounds!
Shala sent the photo to the DNR for further investigation. They estimated the turtle was at least 15 years old, but it may be as ancient as 30.
The resort owners decided to share Shala’s picture on their Facebook page, and it quickly went viral. The resort’s owners, Corby and Sheila Niemeyer, have watched as the post received thousands of shares and almost a thousand comments. Sheila has even been approached by journalists who are interested in the topic.
Look at this turtle! It surfaced by the boat. thank you, Shala Holms!Posted by Niemeyer's Rugged River Resort on Monday, 7 November 2022
The resort’s location, according to the owner, is on a peaceful, sluggish portion of the Mississippi north of Brainerd. They often encounter a variety of local creatures there.
Every June, they get a lot of turtles coming up on shore, and they’re laying their eggs, she said. One of their favourite pastimes is watching the turtles. So seeing a large one like that was quite incredible.
While many Facebook users advised keeping out of the water, Sheila stressed that it’s not as deadly as it seems.
She believes that if one really look at any lake or river, one’ll find all kinds of things one never imagined of, she remarked. They abandon. They do not want to be around us.
In fact, she is hopeful that the post’s popularity would help them obtain more tourists at their resort.
She said that she is hoping it’s not something negative because they believe. ‘Oh no, I’ll never go there. “I’m not going to swim with that.” For the most part, she does not think one should be concerned But witnessing the animals is incredible.
Snapping turtles are often misinterpreted, according to Erica Hoaglund, regional nongame wildlife expert with the Minnesota DNR (via email), since they seem “scary” and respond in defence when confronted. They are not harmful, according to her.
They are most peaceful in the water and often try to seem more terrifying on land, where they feel more vulnerable. They will protect themselves out of fear, but never attack.
They really just want to avoid being encountered, and will hide and flee if given half a chance, stated Hoaglund.
Holm, the initial witness to the large turtle in issue, has shown no signs of anxiety. In fact, she has said that she intends to return to the resort to locate her old acquaintance.
She added that she is going to go back to that spot next year and see if he or she is still around.
What are your thoughts? Would you like to swim in that river? Tell us in the comments!