The snapping turtle family members have been on our dinner tables
since long ago. These turtles are
the largest freshwater turtles on the American Continent, with the alligator snapper being the
Snappers are being sought for three main reasons:
meat, shells and as pets.
Most of the demand for turtle meat products is met by the alligator snapper, but in many areas
the common snappers meat is being sold. Quite large wild cought common snapping turtles can be found
at the local markets in South America or Mexico.
In the USA or Canada the snapping turtles played a special role in the
native indians lives.The " long
lived and wise " snappers shells were used in religious rituals and musical instruments making ( the snapping turtle
Nowadays, most of the snappers on the market are artificially raised on turtle farms.
The life of a commercially brought up snapping turtle begins and ends on the farm. The
female snappers produce eggs from which baby snappers are being hatched and then raised to the size suitable
To ensure the fast delivery of eggs, the female snappers get an injection of hormone oxytocin
and lay eggs within 2 hrs..
The grown up common snapping turtles are butchered at the weight of 10 to 12 lb., at which they deliver
about 5 lb. of meat.
The meat then is being sold as frozen or canned products.
A great number of hatchlings though is being sold to the pet stores around the world.
Both, snappers as pets and snappers as, hmmm... frozen meat, reach their destinations
to as far as Japan.
For those who tried it, I still haven't, stew made with snapping turtle meat is apparently
quite tasty. So, if you'd have a chance one day - it's all up to you !