When the Oklahoma resident Dave Harrell went fishing, he expected to catch a regular catfish. The man could not even guess how unique and exotic his catch would be.
Quite by accident, Harrell was hooked by a prehistoric turtle weighing 45 kilograms. At first, the fisherman was a bit confused, and then released the animal to freedom, having made several pictures beforehand. At the immediately become popular pictures that Harrell posted on the Internet, the man is depicted naked to the waist, trying hard to keep the giant reptile. As it later turned out, the fisherman's massive catch turned out to be a rare alligator turtle. After the photo session the turtle was safely released into the water.
As Dave himself later said, he and his friend Odie Clarke went to Mill Creek for fishing, hoping to catch a catfish. However, they were lucky to stumble upon something more interesting and great. And to get the turtle from the water, Harrell managed only with the help of his friend.
According to experts, many are mistaken believing that the griffin tortoise is very common in Oklahoma. This species is considered to be disappearing, so in recent years it has been at the center of the reintroduction program in the state.
Another specialist - the curator-herpetologist from the Tulsa Zoo, said that according to the received pictures, we can say that the fisher caught a turtle weighed at least 45 kilograms. Further, he added that the largest griffin turtle weighed about 93 kilograms.
A certificate from one of the zoos indicates that these reptiles have three large ridges or a keel along the entire body. In addition, they have a completely unique location of the eyes, which differs from other relatives.
Live on the planet griffin turtles for about 20 million years. They are carnivorous, eat snakes, frogs, fish and even turtles of other species. Most of the life these animals spend at the depths of large rivers, canals of lakes or marshes.
Currently, this species of turtle is protected, as their numbers have declined significantly over the last few years as a result of their meat consumption as food, as well as human use of pesticides. This leads to the death of turtles.