This past weekend was Coyote and Company's second round of Swamp Monster counts at the Columbus Metro Parks. The counts, open to the public, are a way to teach the community a bit about Snapping Turtles and to give them an up close look at the creatures living just beyond the normal observation areas.
We had an amazing turnout between both Blacklick Woods and Blendon Woods. Of course everyone's favorite baby Snapping Turtle Stuart was on hand, and as always...he put on quite a show! So cute and pudgy...the kids just love to see Stuart!
Early on Saturday Coyote also nabbed this little guy, a Red Eared Slider.
Pretty good size and a great "non-aggressive" specimen for the kids to handle and appreciate. He sure did put on a show, scurrying all over the observation deck and giving the kids a few really good laughs when he decided to take a really big turtle "you know what" right in front of everyone! Not every day that you see a turtle's morning business!
Several Snapping Turtles were sighted on Saturday including one that was estimated to be in the realm of 60 lbs. Coyote made a valiant attempt to catch this monster, diving off of the observation deck into 10 ft deep water after its bubble trail, but alas, the beast escaped.
The Swamp Monster that was captured, seen here, tipped the scales at 31 lbs and put on quite a show for everyone.
One of the most aggressive turtles we have encountered all summer. Nothing like putting a snap happy beast armed with razor sharp claws on an observation deck filled with children!
Sunday found the team at Blendon Woods Metro Park where Coyote made the capture of a 40 lb Monster.
One of the biggest turtles captured so far this summer and boy, he was NOT a morning turtle. Grumpy as they get this one was!
Coyote nabbed some great up close shots. Onlookers always enjoy watching him get the camera and his fingers dangerously close to those powerful jaws.
This Snapping Turtle specifically was one of the most prehistoric looking specimens we have captured to date...seriously had claws like a dinosaur!
Sometimes it's hard to believe that these creatures are actually real...and not conjured up by Steven Spielberg's special effects teams!
Overall, the spring Swamp Monster counts were a huge success. We hope that everyone in attendance had fun and learned a few things about the Common Snapping Turtle.
A SWAMP MONSTER sized THANK YOU goes out to everyone at the Columbus Metro Parks for their help and support- without their willingness to let Coyote jump into the mud to capture these creatures, most people would probably never get the chance to see one.
Evidence continues to surface that a possible World Record Size turtle may live at either Blacklick or Blendon Woods. As the summer heat rolls on the Swamp Monster team will keep in pursuit of the ones that managed to get away.
Until next time...stay muddy...this...is SWAMP MONSTERS!