A few months back, when filming for our test pilot began, we did a publicity shoot for a local Columbus based magazine called 614 Magazine. Field Adventure reporter Megan Burkholder and magazine photographer Chris Casella joined Coyote Peterson and Chammp Swaggerty on an expedition into the far corner of Thoreau Lake at Blendon Woods Metro Park in search of prehistoric looking beasts.
Megan was looking to experience a first hand look at the star of our summer filming, the Common Snapping Turtle. We assured her that if we encountered one of these reptilian creatures it would be an action packed adventure and one heck of a story.
What we didn't expect to experience... was about to be one of the crowing moments of this summers test filming. With binoculars to his eyes Coyote spotted a large Snapping Turtle moving through thick algae at the waters surface. With the light now green on finding a turtle, it was GO TIME!
In a splash of mud and water Coyote was smack dab deep into an incredible battle...
As the animal was wrangled and brought (or so we thought) under control, we began to film the educational side of the segment. Then before we knew it, a second Snapping Turtle began to sneak up behind cameraman, and now prey to the predator, Chammp Swaggerty.
Coyote spotted the second creeper and in a "Dangerous Moment of Brilliance" grabbed hold of the pursuing turtle's carapace...now Coyote had his hands on two monster sized Snapping Turtles, both with ornery dispositions and a serious set of attitudes.
The battle was incredible and ended up being one of the most dangerous animal encounters we have filmed to date. It is footage that will undoubtedly be used in the test pilot and it is a story, that for the creators of The Reptile Show, will go down in history.
If you'd like to get Megan's perspective and retelling of the encounter, check out her awesome story which was published in the July issue of 614 Magazine. Incredibly well written, and the best parts...which almost became chomped parts so to say...can be read about here...trust us...it was a very, very, very close call.
This was the bigger of the two turtles about 40lbs, 17 inch carapace, head the size of a grapefruit. You could have fit your hand down his throat...no joke.
The second turtle was a bit smaller at 35 lbs, 15.5 inch carapace. But what he lacked comparatively in size and weight...he made up for in a claw thrashing battle, leaving Coyote with a handful of claw scars.
Special thanks goes out to Chris Casella for providing us with these awesome pictures!