Iowa snapping turtle tips scales at 33 pounds

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is sharing a photo of what's believed to be one Iowa's largest snapping turtles.  

DNR biologists have captured this same 33-pound turtle before in the course of their research, most recently this past summer in northeast Iowa. 

Biologists say it has not grown much since 2016, so they believe it's likely full grown.

Royce Bowman tells WHO Radio he has caught the same turtle a few times now, with hoop nets baited with catfish.   This particular turtle was featured during this year's Iowa State Fair, in the DNR building, then released back into its natural habitat in Dubuque County afterward.

He says the rings on the 15-inch shell are faded, a sign the turtle is very old.  Bowman guesses it's between 30 and 50 years old.   He says it's not the largest snapping turtle ever seen in Iowa, but it's the largest one he's caught.   

It doesn't have a name, aside from the scientific mark the researchers have given it, R10-11.  

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