A « Serpentinea » turtle was discovered in Ramonville-Saint-Agne, near a children’s play area.
While walks are once again authorized since deconfinement, the Haute-Garonne gendarmerie alerts walkers to the possible presence of carnivorous turtles along the Canal du Midi, in a message posted on Facebook Thursday, May 28.
Two days earlier, « a type turtle Serpentinea discovered in Ramonville-Saint-Agne, at the children’s playground, in Cinquante park « , indicate the gendarmes. This tortoise measured 25 centimeters. « Fearful, she shows little but can become fierce when disturbed and then inflict serious injuries with her jaw, cutting like a razor », they specify, inviting walkers not to play with these animals.
This discovery comes a few weeks after that, on the same banks, of three baby « alligator » turtles, another dangerous species, specify the gendarmes, signaling that these turtles are now taken care of by the Mescoules zoo, in Dordogne.
According to the zoo director interviewed by 20 minutes, these are actually all snapping turtles, native to North America, and the big one could be the mother of the three little ones. « They are snarling and dangerous », explains Roland Collebrusco to the daily newspaper.
This carnivorous species can measure up to 80 cm and reach 100 kg. « But, even if she is only 50 kilos, she is aggressive because she is used to hunting, unlike the land turtles who are satisfied with grass. She has like a parrot’s beak, a real pruner », continues the specialist in 20 minutes. It can tackle fish and birds. Above all, this invasive species could harm local biodiversity and endemic species such as the muddy turtle, now in decline, the newspaper said.