Snapping turtle gets police escort home

  • Jaffrey police officer Thomas Bishop poses with a large snapping turtle he helped save last Thursday. The turtle was trying to cross Main Street in town.  Courtesy photo

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 10:57AM

A Jaffrey police officer was almost bitten by a subject he was escorting home last Thursday, but no arrest was made.

Officer Thomas Bishop easily avoided the powerful jaws of the large snapping turtle by holding the reptile by the back of the shell as he brought it from the Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce to the nearby Contoocook River.

“I’m guessing he or she was 40 pounds, at least,” Bishop said. “Snapping turtles are pretty common around here, but you don’t run into to many trying to cross Main Street.”

Police were called downtown when the turtle crossed Main Street and found the turtle at the Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce. Bishop said he has relocated many snapping turtles – including a pretty big one on Memorial Day – but this is by far the largest he has seen in the area.

“I know they can get big, but I wasn’t expecting that,” Bishop said. “I enjoy animal calls, I love that kind of stuff. It’s really exciting, I grew up around here so I’m use to it.”

Bishop said it is always preferable to call the local police department or Fish and Game if a snapping turtle is located, as their bite can be dangerous.

Jaffrey police posted a photo of Bishop holding the turtle on Facebook with the caption, “That’s right folks, we have dinosaurs in Jaffrey. This ‘little’ guy/gal, was trying to make its way across Main Street this morning. He/she was helped along and safely returned to the water.”

Bishop said he was surprised to see the level of response the department has seen on the Facebook post. As of Tuesday afternoon, the post has over 400 reactions, over 50 comments, and nearly 200 shares.