BEND, Ore. -- An alligator snapping turtle was removed from Prineville Reservoir last week, wildlife officials said.
It was the first time the invasive species was found in eastern Oregon, according to Rick Boatner of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The species is native to the southeastern United States, Boatner said. It can grow to 250 lbs.
“I’d hate to see these turtles get established in Oregon," Boatner said. "We already have problems in the Willamette Valley with common snapping turtles.”
He added that the alligator snapping turtle can be very aggressive, and it's a safety hazard to people.
"It has quite a bite," he said.
An angler fishing on the reservoir reported the turtle to ODFW and biologists captured it the next day.
Anybody who sees one is asked to call ODFW.
Photos courtesy of Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife