A picture of a Texas man holding up a monster of a reptile caught on Caddo Lake is going viral.
Rebecca Bedell Boaze posted the image and it has been shared over 5,000 times as of this writing. The animal’s head is sideways in the image as if it’s trying to bite its captor.
Many commenters on the shared posts speculated as to just what it is, exactly. One Texan queried, “Is this a humongous armadillo or what?” while another guessed, “It looks like a badger? I don’t think Wolverines live this far south?”
This is actually an alligator snapping turtle, a native species on the Gulf coast with habitats stretching from Florida all the way to East Texas. The town of Uncertain, Texas, where this particular monster was caught, is right on the shores of Caddo Lake, and just about 30 minutes from the Texas/Louisiana border.
Alligator snapping turtles can grow to over 200 lbs and can live to 100 years. They are a protected species in Texas, due to their classification as a vulnerable species. However, they can still be hunted in Louisiana (non-commercially). They frequently are accidentally caught, however, when entangled in droplines.