You definitely want to keep your hands away from this guy's mouth. The first sighting of a wild alligator snapping turtle has been reported in Illinois.

It has been 30 years since the last reported sighting took place of this highly endangered species.  According to a report in the Southern Illinoisan, researchers are looking at this two ways, good and bad.


  • It could be a sign of hope for this state-endangered species
  • or the animal could be the last of its kind to have survived in Illinois without human intervention


Wild Alligator Snapping Turtle Discovered in Illinois for the First Time in 30 years
Wild Life TV via YouTube

These snapping turtles, have already returned to Tennessee. Wild Side TV describes it as a very fearsome-looking animal, that you would swear is a throwback to the prehistoric age by its looks. They don't eat humans and won't bite your leg off. The once elusive snapping turtle was discovered in Clear Creek in Union County in far Southern Illinois.

Wild Alligator Snapping Turtle Discovered in Illinois for the First Time in 30 years
Google Maps


The chance of coming across one of these wild snapping alligator turtles in northern Illinois is somewhat remote, however, researchers are looking to re-populate Illinois waterways with these stunning creatures. According to one researcher:

If we succeed with our project in introducing a new, viable population of alligator snapping turtles, it’s likely that no one will see them. It’s not as if we’re studying bald eagles that soar above us. I may never know the fate of these turtles, but it’s cool to know that this wild space exists in Illinois.

Check out this video for more information on these stunning critters.

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