Turtles are usually slow-moving, and a kind of harmless reptile that are famously known to live for hundreds of years. However, you could be surprised to know that not all turtles are so tame and safe.
Snapping turtles, found in the freshwater can eat about anything that comes near it, including ducks.
Do snapping turtles eat ducks?
Snapping turtles are omnivorous freshwater reptiles that prey on small birds that cannot fly, including ducks, ducklings, and baby swans. Although snapping turtles can be quite aggressive and fast on water, they are considerably slower on land. With a trap and bait, they can be caught and removed.
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Just like variations in species within most animals, not all snapping turtles are the same. Alligator snapping turtles are different from common snappers in terms of looks, and attributes.
In terms of looks, you would be able to distinguish the two types from their heads. Alligator snapping turtles have pointer, and triangular heads while common snappers have an oval-shaped heads.
Additionally, the size of alligator snapping turtles is much bigger and their bit is a lot more fatal for ducks and birds alike. Since they are bigger, these might take more time to make a move but for ducks, even bigger ones have hardly escaped an alligator turtle’s grips.
Although much rarer than common snapping turtles that can be found along most pond sides, alligator snapping turtles are listed as threatening across most countries in the work.
However, they are also one of the endangered specifies that are becoming fewer in number.
Alligator snapping turtles are known to be more aggressive and have a greater will to hunt. Like common snapping turtles, alligator variations also prey on ducks, including smaller geese, swans, and ducklings.
Do snapping turtles bite, strike, drown or terminate ducks in the pond?
Snapping turtles are omnivorous and are known to constantly be on the lookout for their next meal. These turtles are so aggressive that if they catch sight of any ducks or birds around them, they instantly make a move.
The problem is that these aggressive omnivores are very agile and can strike ducks for a hunt.
Snapping turtles are not so quick when they are on land. Even if they make a striking move on a duck on land, the duck could still escape with wounds.
However, on the water, these prehistoric-looking reptiles will grab on ducks, strike them and in the process drown the white beauties as well.
Many a time you might have noticed ducks with missing limbs. These injuries are mostly the results of escaping a snapping turtle strike on land. On the water, snapping turtles would eat the duck after a strike.
Do snapping turtles eat ducklings, baby swans, and baby geese?
Sadly, more than the bigger ducks that can give a fight to a snapping turtle strike, it’s the baby ducklings and swans that are more in danger.
You might have heard experts worrying about where have all the baby geese and ducklings gone. Snapping turtles are more likely to eat smaller-sized birds like ducklings, baby swans as well as baby geese.
Since turtles are not meant to live on a water body when the duck population is higher, snapping turtles will strike ducklings and baby swans on emptier ponds.
These aggressive turtles will eat the small-sized ducks instantly. Hence, there is an almost negligible chance that a duckling or baby geese will ever survive a snapping turtle strike, especially if it is on water.
Snapping turtles usually hunt for birds like ducklings and babies. Swans that are yet to learn their lesson of flying. Since they cannot fly, it is much easier to capture and eat one than one that can fly away.
Do snapping turtles eat duck eggs?
Snapping turtles are mostly known to eat any kind of meat, whether it is chicken, birds, fish, or even humans. There is not much evidence known to confirm whether snapping turtles spare duck eggs.
However, few observations have suggested that snapping turtles will also strike and predate on duck eggs. Whether they would eat the eggs, is not something that can be said for sure.
Since they are quick and aggressive, in most cases they might gobble up anything they see on sight, including duck eggs. However, these turtles may not be so violent when they are unprovoked.
How to get rid of snapping turtles in my pond?
If there is a pond near your home or in the backyard, you might want to be careful and watch out for snapping turtles.
These turtles are not the most harmless when it comes to hunting. Since they thrive on brackish and freshwater, here are a few ways in which you can get rid of snapping turtles in your pond.
With their sharp jaws and constantly rotating and twisting heads, snapping turtles never stay on the same spot. To secure the pond and to make sure these turtles do not cross a certain area; you could use nets to border their movement.
This will make sure the snapping turtles are unprovoked and unharmed while having a safe distance from humans.
Set a trap:
Another way to catch a snapping turtle is to set a trap. You could use a floating trap but rigid traps would be better for catching snapping turtles. Use a meat bait along with a bait holder.
At the edge of the pond, you’d need to carefully place the trap so that it is not so visible. Additionally, if the turtle is too active, you can have the traps at a few different spots.
Use a milk jug:
Use a milk jug and connect it with a fishing line on one of the ends. Attach the other end to a fishing rod. Once you set a slice of meat or shrimp bait, you might get hold of the snapping turtle with some luck.
From the back:
If you’re confident enough, you would approach a snapping turtle from the back to catch one.
For that, you would have to catch them at their lowest, which would be on the land. By coming from behind, place both your hand on either side of the shell. Next, you’d want to lift the turtle and remove it from the area.
This would be dangerous if you do not have enough protection or any helping hands. In any case, do not touch the turtle’s tail. If this sounds too overwhelming for you, just have animal control come over and remove these turtles instead.
Can you keep a snapping turtle as a pet?
A snapping turtle is considered to be an aggressive animal that may be a danger to you if you plan to keep it as a pet. Because they live too pretty on meat, there have been instances when a snapping turtle has bitten off a human’s fingers.
Of course, like all animals, snapping turtles do not harm you if they are not provoked. Yet, it would not be safe to have these unpredictable animals around children or other pets.
If you still plant to pet one, make sure it’s the common snapping turtle and not the alligator variation. With that said, you would still have to be vigilant and keep yourself protected at all times.
If you have a backyard pond, it is a good place to host a snapping turtle with some netting protection to keep it away from other people.
What to feed a baby snapping turtle?
If you want to feed a baby snapping turtle, there are many options. You would visit pet shops that sell live food and feed them earthworms and insects.
You can also feed them baby frogs, tadpoles, and even baby mice. Although they eat everything when they are older, baby snapping turtles can be pickier about their meat.
Some baby snapping turtles like to eat insects as well. Cricket is among a favorite that is sometimes used to lure the bigger turtles.
What else do snapping turtles eat?
Other than birds, here is what snapping turtles like to feed on:
Both common snapping turtles and alligator snapping turtles attach and feed on ducks. More than adult ducks that can fly, snapping turtles tend to srike smaller ones. From baby swan to ducklings, these turtles are often subjected to snapper strikes.