Longview man arrested for possession, eating threatened turtle species

Published: Sep. 9, 2014 at 3:13 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 9, 2014 at 3:41 PM CDT
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Here is the Alligator Snapping Turtle. (Source: Gray Family)
Here is the Alligator Snapping Turtle. (Source: Gray Family)

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - A Longview man has been arrested for possession of a threatened species.

Longview Police said Timothy Anderson, 36, was issued a warrant by the Gregg County Game Warden in April 2013 for possessing an Alligator Snapping Turtle. Officials said failure to pay that fine resulted in his arrest Monday night.

The Gregg County Game Warden said that when they arrived at Anderson's home, the rare turtle was already dead. Anderson had eaten the turtle. The game warden seized the remaining shell so that it could not be sold for profit on the black market. He said it will be used for educational purposes.

The game warden said his department was alerted when Anderson bragged about catching the large turtle in the Sabine River to a local newspaper that published the story.

Alligator Snapping Turtles are the largest freshwater turtle in North America and among the largest in the world. Because of their spiked shells and jaws, the species is often said to look like a dinosaur. They can live to be 100-years-old. The game warden said in the species is not endangered, but is threatened and it is illegal to hunt, capture, or harm an Alligator Snapping Turtle.

If you come across an Alligator Snapping Turtle you are asked to call your local game warden to notify them. Last month another Alligator Snapping Turtle was discovered, but the game warden was called and no charges were filed since the situation was handled within the law.

Anderson is charged with a class C misdemeanor and could face jail time, a fine, and civil restitution. He is being held in the Gregg County Jail. A bond has not been set.

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