Alpes-Maritimes: A Dangerous Alligator Snapping Turtle Found in a Public Park on the Côte d’Azur

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The prefect of Haute-Garonne has banned the demonstration of yellow vests scheduled for Saturday, May 16, 2020

BE CAREFUL OF THE FINGERS: They are passers-by who discovered the reptile with a powerful jaw and a sharp beak


  • The specimen of this spectacular exotic turtle species was discovered by passers-by in the pond of the Vaugrenier departmental natural park.
  • It was finally entrusted to the “Village des tortues”, an educational and conservation centre in the Var department.

It is as rare as it is frightening with its powerful jaw and sharp beak. And she could easily take with her one or more fingers of a hand that is a little too wandering. A dangerous alligator tortoise, a spectacular exotic species usually observed in the United States, was discovered in late April, in full confinement, by passers-by in the pond of the Vaugrenier departmental natural park, in Villeneuve-Loubet (Alpes-Maritimes).

Recovered with great care, the serrated shell animal – like an alligator – had time was entrusted to an individual. She was finally brought a few days ago to the “Village des tortues”, an educational and conservation centre located in the Var, reports this Thursday the French Office for Biodiversity (OFB).

No doubt “abandoned by a private collector”

On-site, the reptile was measured and weighed. With 13 kg on the scale, this specimen of Macrochelys temminckii, yet already quite frightening, is still far from having reached 100 kg, maximum weight for this species which can measure up to 75 cm. Its longevity can reach 80 years, specifies the organization.

The turtle was measured and weighed
The turtle was measured and weighed – OFB

“The specimen found was probably abandoned by a private collector,” says the organization, recalling that “to hold this species classified as dangerous [the ministerial decree of 21 November 1997], a prefectural opening decree and a certificate of capacity” are required.

The French Office for Biodiversity points out the danger of “releasing non-native species back into the wild”. “They can become invasive and are recognized as the third cause of the disappearance of global biodiversity,” she says.

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