Schildkröte Lotti bleibt verschwunden!
August 13, 2013 9:25 AM   Subscribe

A snapping turtle, dubbed Lotti, has been terrorising the town of Irsee, Germany since last week, where it bit a boy who was swimming, severing his achilles tendon.

Currently, the lake has been fenced off and drained, and a 1000 euro reward is being offered (German) for the turtle's capture. Firefighters have been combing the drained lake in an attempt to find the turtle, but admit that the turtle may have managed to successfully hide in the mud.

It is believed that the turtle was a pet, imported from North America, and later released into the Oggenreider lake. Estimates from the bite are that the turtle is about 40 centimetres in size and 15 kilograms.
posted by frimble (61 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
1: Capture it.
2. Teach it to predict the outcomes of soccer games.

Everyone will be happy then.
posted by Naberius at 9:28 AM on August 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


the turtle is about 40 centimetres in size and 15 kilograms.

Oh, it's just a baby, then.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:29 AM on August 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


Achilles tendon and the Tortoise
posted by DU at 9:31 AM on August 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


...severing his achilles tendon.

I was all ready for turtle-related Bavarian hijinks, but the end of this sentence is sobering and jarring.
posted by gauche at 9:32 AM on August 13, 2013 [12 favorites]


Snapping turtles are nothing to mess around with, and releasing one into the wild in an area where they aren't native is... well, a colossal jerk move is about the nicest term I can manage. It's a bad outcome for humans and turtle alike.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:35 AM on August 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Hot damn. Not gonna bitch and moan about European invasives in Massachusetts today.
posted by ocschwar at 9:36 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Turtle Boy: At Least I Have My Balls
posted by Mister_A at 9:40 AM on August 13, 2013 [16 favorites]


Snapping turtles are notorious assholes. So are people who release snapping turtles into German lakes.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:40 AM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Maybe, but broken skin plus contact with a reptile generally means high risk of really nasty infections.
posted by ocschwar at 9:41 AM on August 13, 2013


Severed Achilles is a tough injury, those turtles are nasty.
posted by Mister_A at 9:42 AM on August 13, 2013


Turtle sandwich, and make it snappy!
posted by Teakettle at 9:43 AM on August 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yes, it is I, Lotti, the Curse of Irsee
I've struck horror in the heart of this town
Like my eyes ain't green and my hair ain't yellow
It's more like the other way around
I gotta pretty little mouth underneath all the foaming
La la la la la la la lie
Sooner or later we all gotta die
Since I was no bigger than a weevil
They've been saying I was evil
That if bad was a boot that I'd fit it
That I'm a wicked young turtle,
But I've been trying hard lately,
Oh, fuck it!
I'm a monster!
I admit it!
It makes me so mad my blood really starts a-going
La la la la la la la lie
Mama always told me that we all gotta die
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:44 AM on August 13, 2013 [8 favorites]


Wouldn't trapping it with bait easier than draining the pond, into which the turtle can bury itself into the muck anyway to survive a German winter.
posted by stbalbach at 9:46 AM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sticherbeast, that's one of my favorite songs.
posted by gauche at 9:46 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


A gang of three snapping turtles invaded our neighbor's yard this Spring. One giant one about the size of a trash can lid and two little (ha!) ones about the size of large pizzas, only with necks that stick out almost a foot and legs that look exactly like they belong on dinosaurs. They burrowed into the mulch around the bushes and into a big pile of dirt that had been delivered onto their driveway and essentially said "We're going to lay our eggs here. If you don't like it, fuck you." Animal control basically said there's not much to do, just wait until they lay their eggs (which takes a day or so) and go away. I got some nice close-up pictures, but boy those things are nasty.
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:46 AM on August 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


To be fair, seeing that the turtle has been named Lotti reminded me of the classic movie line "Scientists have determined that the monster's name is Ghidorah." What test determined that?
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:46 AM on August 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Is it a common snapping turtle or an alligator snapping turtle? The linked articles are contradictory. If it's an alligator snapper, that boy's lucky he still has his foot. That's nobody's idea of a pet (outside of Louisiana, anyway).
posted by sleevener at 9:46 AM on August 13, 2013


GenjiandProust: "To be fair, seeing that the turtle has been named Lotti reminded me of the classic movie line "Scientists have determined that the monster's name is Ghidorah." What test determined that?"

Dude you don't know the DNT-1 (Daikaiju Nomenclature Test-1)?
posted by Mister_A at 9:48 AM on August 13, 2013


Something something all the way down.
posted by spitbull at 9:49 AM on August 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Take off an fish the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:59 AM on August 13, 2013


You go in the cage? Cage goes in the water? Turtle is in the water? Our turtle?
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 10:00 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is it a common snapping turtle or an alligator snapping turtle? The linked articles are contradictory. If it's an alligator snapper, that boy's lucky he still has his foot. That's nobody's idea of a pet (outside of Louisiana, anyway).

Both have been argued, but as the turtle hasn't been seen or found, it's not known which. Most newspapers have been using the same stock photo of an alligator snapping turtle, but that's likely more for visual impact than out of any particular evidence one way or another.
posted by frimble at 10:04 AM on August 13, 2013


There's good eating on one of these. It was a family tradition among my great uncles for years to have a snapping turtle casserole for dinner on Christmas Eve. Amazingly tasty animals.
posted by strixus at 10:06 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's nobody's idea of a pet (outside of Louisiana, anyway)

This guy begs to differ.
posted by TedW at 10:08 AM on August 13, 2013


Curious Artificer: I got some nice close-up pictures

Links? Wanna see! (Snapping turtles may be mean, but they're also extremely awesome.)
posted by flyingsquirrel at 10:09 AM on August 13, 2013




I kept a small snapping turtle for a few days when I was about 8. One Thursday, my father took the day off so that we could go canoeing. In the late afternoon, I saw something move next to the bow and plucked out a turtle that was about the size of a piece of toast.

"You're lucky that you got him by the butt," Dad said. "That's a snapper."

I was obsessed with animals at the time, and was very proud of myself for so casually capturing the snapping turtle. I asked my dad if I could keep him for a few days to observe him. After some badgering and promises on my part, he agreed that I could keep him in the empty rabbit run until Sunday, when we would take him back to the pond and release him. We stopped at the bait store to get some worms and shiners, and when we got home Dad sunk a plastic tub into the ground to provide the turtle with a place to swim in his pen.

I had no intention of giving up this turtle-- he was going to be my pet. I set to planning my arguments for the day of his planned reprieve. I would convince my folks that I could keep the turtle. MY turtle; I caught him. What's more, I was sure that the turtle liked me and appreciated the fact that I had saved him from foraging in the muck.

We had a rule that you don't name wild animals, but in my mind he was no longer wild. He was Howard the Turtle, though I knew better than to vocalize this before my plan was realized. I spent many hours over the next few days watching Howard, and eventually I learned that if you held dried twigs in front of him, he would viciously snap them in two.

On Saturday morning, I woke up early, gathered some twigs, and went into the rabbit run to play Howard's favorite game with him. It was going great until I trustingly hung my left hand in front of Howard's face while I grabbed another twig with my right. The snapping turtle grabbed the webbing between my thumb and index finger, and held on when I reflexively brought my hand back.

I don't think I had ever felt such excruciating pain at that point, but I knew that I couldn't raise an alarm or else both of us would be in trouble. I set my hand on the ground and stared at Howard, wondering what my next move was. Suddenly, the turtle softened his grip to try for a reposition, and I jerked my hand away. The nerves in the crook of my thumb we screaming, but fortunately he had grabbed so much that the only damage was an imprint of a turtle jaw, a rising blood blister and two superficial cuts on the edge of my skin.

The pain was quickly replaced by a sense of betrayal. How could Howard have done this to me? We were friends, and I had given him such a nice home. I glared at Howard, and with a heavy heart I slunk back inside to watch test patterns on TV and nurse my hand.

A while later, Dad came downstairs.

"Dad," I said, "When can we put the turtle back?"
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:17 AM on August 13, 2013 [34 favorites]


Mayor Curley: ""Dad," I said, "When can we put the turtle back?""

"The boy got bit", Dad thought, although he was careful to never vocalize this thought.
posted by boo_radley at 10:20 AM on August 13, 2013 [18 favorites]


Between this and the Pacu thread, I'm beginning to think we should seriously consider banning or restricting potential invasive species with no major use beyond the pet trade. The damage wrought by invasive species is seldom so obvious, but it's often quite severe - we waste an absolute fortune managing the damn things, and they're basically impossible to ever completely eradicate.
posted by Mitrovarr at 10:24 AM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


What test determined that?

The old "hi, what's your name?" test
posted by Hoopo at 10:27 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


A big bobber, ten feet of steel leader, the biggest treble hook you can find, and three slices of bacon....
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:30 AM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeeaaah, between this and pacus, I'm done with swimming and/or wading in natural water sources.
posted by Fig at 10:36 AM on August 13, 2013


You've got your knowns, your known unknowns, and your unknown unknowns . . .
posted by spitbull at 10:39 AM on August 13, 2013


What was that show I saw where the guy hunts snapping turtles by standing on their back until they get tired, then swooping down and picking them up by their back legs? It was some crazy Louisiana guy. What I'm saying is they need to hire a redneck. Buy him a plane ticket and let him keep the meat and he might do it for free.
posted by echo target at 10:40 AM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


At the airport I worked at in high school, there was a large drainage pond next to the taxiway. In that pond lived the meanest sonafabitch snapping turtle I have ever had the pleasure of meeting (granted, it's probably the only snapping turtle I've ever met, but still). Every now and then it would get it into its head to try to get across the runway to the woods on the other side, and it would be our job to go retrieve it and put it back in the pond.

It was during this time that I learned two things. First, turtles really don't like golf carts. Second, a snapping turtle can pull its neck so far out of its body that it can bite you even if you're grabbing it at the complete opposite end of its shell. We eventually came up with a method of removing the turtle from the runway that involved two people with shovels scooping it into the bed of the golf cart and getting it back to the pond before it could turn around and climb into the front seats.

Mind you, turtle bites kan be pretty nasti...
posted by backseatpilot at 10:40 AM on August 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Mmmmm.....

Once I was swimmin' 'cross Turtle creek
Man, them snappers all around my feet
Sure was hard to cross that thing
With both hands holdin' my ding a ling a ling
 
posted by Herodios at 10:45 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


What was that show I saw where the guy hunts snapping turtles by standing on their back until they get tired, then swooping down and picking them up by their back legs? It was some crazy Louisiana guy. What I'm saying is they need to hire a redneck. Buy him a plane ticket and let him keep the meat and he might do it for free.

They should film him and then air the footage as a reality show.
posted by Area Man at 10:46 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Scientists have determined that the monster's name is Ghidorah." What test determined that?

s'Tattooed on the back of the neck, vicar-sergeant.
 
posted by Herodios at 10:46 AM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


There's the makings of a great 1980's TV movie in this incident.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:59 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


There was a snapping turtle in the ravine behind our house. Or at least, that's what our Mom said so that we kids wouldn't go into the pond in the ravine. None of us ever saw it, but all the neighbourhood kids knew that there was a snapping turtle in there.

Anyway, years later, me a bored teenager, I was hucking rocks into the pond. Then -- SHOOMP! The snapping turtle leapt out of the water and snapped onto the rock. Holee shit. It was an amazing thing to see, but also -- the story about a snapping turtle in there was actually true. Who knew?

For the record, Mother Renault denies ever having told us anything about a snapping turtle being there, nor has she ever seen it. So it was a total fib. Which is a bit of a disappointment, given how excited I was to actually see it later.

And that's my snapping turtle story.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:02 AM on August 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Man, the Kaiju War sure is getting off to a slow start.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:02 AM on August 13, 2013


What? They're taking our nads so we can't reproduce and our tendons so we can't run!
posted by Mister_A at 11:03 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man I am totally going to kick a nature tonight after work. Hey Nature: Screw you, pal!
posted by Mister_A at 11:04 AM on August 13, 2013




Mother Renault denies ever having told us anything about a snapping turtle being there, nor has she ever seen it.

And then she led you out back, and there was no ravine there. "No, there never was a real pond or ravine," she said affectionately, "but you always looked like you had such a good time, digging a little hole with your plastic shovel and emptying a pail of water in it."
posted by echo target at 11:26 AM on August 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


Ich bin Lotti, das kleine Schnappschildkröte,
und vom Schnappen, da krieg ich nicht zu viel.
Ich beiß dem Junge kurz ins Bein,
und dann, dann schlaf ich einfach ein.
posted by Soliloquy at 11:33 AM on August 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


(a few) pictures of snapping turtles (on Facebook, sorry)

I took more but the rest are on a different memory card right now.
posted by Curious Artificer at 11:42 AM on August 13, 2013


We used to collect "lost" golf balls at a golf course when I was growing up. Between escaping foursomes who hadn't quite finished losing their golf balls yet* and the snapping turtles in every sizable water hazard, it was a fantastic Darwinian environment to weed out the weaker boys. I think every bit of standing water in Portsmouth had a resident snapping turtle, just to keep you on your (stubby) toes.

* I saw my first true bodybuilder and my first angry bodybuilder around age 9. Thankfully he was at least a 3 Wood away when we took off running and didn't consider using the cart. We also used to take a bunch of sugar packets from the country club, fill the 18th hole to just below the brim and watch from the woods. Man we were shits.
posted by yerfatma at 12:12 PM on August 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints: "You go in the cage? Cage goes in the water? Turtle is in the water? Our turtle?"

YOU GOT ANY BETTER IDEAS?
posted by jquinby at 12:26 PM on August 13, 2013


Geez, maybe if "AFP" hadn't been so fucking busy snapping a picture of Lotti, they could have fucking caught her.
posted by threeants at 12:33 PM on August 13, 2013


Rest assured, they WILL eventually catch Lotti. And Lotti's mate. And their offspring. And then, that night, when all is finally quiet and peaceful, the hill behind the town will burst open and the GIANT snapping turtle will appear.
posted by happyroach at 12:38 PM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is kind of ridiculous. They determined it was an alligator snapping turtle based on the bite? An alligator snapping turtle? In Bavaria?

My guess is that the kid caught his foot on some inanimate object -- possibly Occam's razor.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:38 PM on August 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Google Translate, you are drunk:

In Oggenrieder Irsee the turtle pond in an eight-year-old boy was bitten on the foot and thereby severed his Achilles tendon. 15 helpers of the volunteer fire department Irsee scoured the reeds in the pond. There, the snappy turtle is suspected.

[...]

They had earlier animals the size of a matchbox can simply buy at the pet store says Baur. Many of the animals were simply suspended if they were too big. The climate put them to slow. "They die miserably for years because they are abandoned by their owners brainless."
posted by jquinby at 12:44 PM on August 13, 2013


happyroach: "Rest assured, they WILL eventually catch Lotti. And Lotti's mate. And their offspring. And then, that night, when all is finally quiet and peaceful, the hill behind the town will burst open and the GIANT snapping turtle will appear."

The Lifetime for Turtles network is really on the ball with this "Not Without My Clutch" movie.
posted by boo_radley at 3:14 PM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


"The climate put them to slow."

It happens to the best of us. Personally it's hot climates that put me to slow, but then again, I'm a mammal.
posted by ErikaB at 3:45 PM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Big snapper in my backyard: 1, 2, 3, 4. He (she?) showed up in late May, a few years ago, right outside the house. I got my little red wagon, a shovel, and my thickest gloves and returned him to the stream. After taking a few pictures, of course.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:49 PM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Big lizard in my backyard: 1
posted by Sys Rq at 5:00 PM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man, the Kaiju War sure is getting off to a slow start.

Category 1 Kaiju, with Mark 1 Jaeger.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:58 PM on August 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Big lizard in my backyard:

FWIW, I now own a Bitchin' Camaro.
posted by yerfatma at 7:20 PM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Germans are not used to being snapped at. They usually do the snapping.

I fear it will not go easy for Lotti.
posted by spitbull at 7:24 PM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Send in the Scigirls: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hX5F-pG3GvM
posted by childofTethys at 9:36 PM on August 13, 2013


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