The BIGGEST Turtle You’ve EVER seen!

I’m Coyote Peterson and I just had an animal encounter
that’s gonna knock your socks off get ready to see the largest freshwater
turtle in North America! the
water-logged landscapes of the south provide a rich and protected environment
for a plethora of species today the crew and I are exploring a private preserve in Homestead Florida whether traveling by air boat over
the saturated fields of Sawgrass or trudging through on foot one
thing is for certain this is one seriously unforgiving habitat on this particular morning we were looking
for one in the preserves rarest resident reptiles this turtle is kept in a confined area
but finding him amongst the plants and mind is far easier said than done. sadly their
numbers have greatly decreased over the past quarter-century and they’re now protected throughout the
range in the southeastern United States and although the species doesn’t
naturally occur the Florida Everglades the environment was a perfect backdrop
for a creature that is considered an ancient legend of
folklore myth now let’s sneak up slow on this and try
not to startle anything that might be out uh yeah there could be alligators so just ah, be aware something’s… hey hey something’s moving right here hold on… keep up keep up move it move it move it! It’s a turtle! it’s huge it is HUGE it’s an alligator snapping turtle! hold on, let me it back around this way. WOW! can you believe the size of that turtle? Holy cow! Woah! Woah woah woah there buddy… oh my goodness I saw these plants moving
he started to burry down look at the size of him! Man is he powerful! there’s no doubt about it this is the biggest turtle I have ever captured wow look at that head! jeez he’s trying to get my face in his mouth this could be a 100 pound turtle LOOK at that swamp beast, my goodness what an absolute dinosaur Wow look at that mouth, my entire fist could fit
inside there and yeah…you would not want to get your hand caught in the mouth of this turtle. Let’s see if I can get him to put his head up for us. ok. Wow look at that… have you ever seen something something so prehistoric? look at his eyes, his eyes are just beautiful. now one of the easy way to quickly identify an alligator snapping turtle which as soon as I jumped in the water I knew
it was an alligator snapping turtle because of these three large ridge’s that
run along the top of the carapace now a carapace is the top of the shell. Now common snapping turtles the cousin to this species does not have these distinct ridges. the plastron, which is the bottom of the shell
on snapping turtles is quite a bit smaller than other turtle species and the way you can tell whether it’s a male or
female is that the males have a slightly concave shell and
females have a slightly convex shell so this is a big boy, the males usually have
tails that are quite a bit longer than females as well and I can also kinda see that he has some turtle
parts. That is a huge turtle that is a very very big turtle. Actually there was a story in Kansas in 1937 of a 405 pound alligator
snapping turtle I’m guessing this guy’s probably around
a hundred pounds so if you can imagine something almost four times the size you really are talking about a dinosaur So now the moment of truth, to find out how much
this turtle weighs uh I found a pretty good stick that I think is
going to support the weight of the turtle. I’m gonna use my pack to build a harness to tie him in and then I think gonna need your help Mark to hoist him up. I’m gonna guess that this turtle is somewhere between
seventy and a hundred pounds one two three, up! That is a heavy turtle, just at about ninety pounds for this alligator snapping turtle a few
more fish eaten and this guys gonna break the century
mark every time we encounter an animal we like to make sure we are as gentle as
possible and right now he’s just basically wanting to get
back out into the water this is you know slightly stressful
situation for him but I just try keeping calm and enjoy
their company for the moment and I really wanted to catch this turtle
and bring it up on a shallower water you guys could have the experience of being
up close and personal with one of the most ancient creatures
on our planet. Wow what an unbelievable encounter with the
large freshwater turtle in North America the alligator snapping turtle. Now I’m sure
you guys have plenty of questions for me about this swamp beast, so leave me
comments below and let’s talk alligator snapping
turtles personal best for me I don’t know if I’ll ever catch another turtle this big. I’m Coyote Peterson. Be brave stay wild will see you
on the next adventure ready to head back out there and catch some fish? Alright I’ll
walk him over here in deeper water. alright, and off he goes… see you later big guy if you thought that was one wild
adventure check out these other animal encounters and don’t forget subscribe to follow me
and the crew on this season of Breaking trail

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