Buffalo Bayou John

This morning GCTTS received a call from Carl Franklin, herpetologist at UT Arlington and creator of the excellent site Texas Turtles. Carl had received a call from Jeff who deals in commercial real estate in Houston - see http://jefftrevino.com who had spotted a dead Alligator Snapping Turtle under the Sabine Street Bridge in downtown Houston.

Jeff sent a picture of what he had found:

Buffalo Bayou JohnBuffalo Bayou John
Carl wanted the remains for his lab / museum in Arlington, so my son and I headed into Houston to meet Jeff and recover the body.

Jeff already had "John" out of the bayou - here are our first views:

Buffalo Bayou JohnBuffalo Bayou John
Buffalo Bayou JohnBuffalo Bayou John
We used Jeff's kayak to carry "John" up the hill to the Sabine Street Bridge.
Buffalo Bayou John (and Jeff)Buffalo Bayou John (and Jeff)

After we got John home we found a fishing leader with lead weights dangling from his mouth. It appears that someone may have hooked him and then cut off the line with the hook in his mouth.

Vital Statistics for "John"

SCL: 27"
Head to Tail length: 61"
Weight: 131 lbs.
Head Circumference: 29"

Yes, "John" did reek! Carl and I will meet up tomorrow for the delivery.

Update: Delivered "John" to Carl on Saturday, April 9th in Austin. He tied him to the top of his van and headed back to Arlington. "John" may end up as a prominent display at Carl's lab at UT Arlington.