Men rescue huge alligator snapping turtle that was stuck in drainage culvert

Published: Apr. 9, 2014 at 10:38 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A wrestling match pitting a courageous man against one monster of a turtle unfolded in a drainage canal, but it was for the animal's well-being.

It happened off Hoo Shoo Too Road in Baton Rouge and the massive alligator snapping turtle still looked a bit troubling even after it was tucked inside a kiddie pool. Its head is as big as a football.

"You're looking at about a four foot long turtle," said Martin LeBlanc.

Travis Lewis first spotted the creature when peeking into a canal near his driveway.

"It looked like a log," Lewis said. "So, I took a closer look and it was a big ole turtle, so I jumped up screaming and hollering for Martin to come help me."

"I thought something had him," LeBlanc explained.

"I'm like, 'Martin, come help me! Come help me,'" Lewis added.

"I didn't know what was going on," LeBlanc said.

"I'm sorry, man (laughs)," he added.

What looked like a log to Lewis looked like something much different to his buddy.

"I'm from Pierre Part. I was thinking dinner!" LeBlanc explained.

However, they soon figured out the huge turtle in trouble.

"He was wedged in a culvert and one of our friends actually climbed in the culvert and pulled the turtle out. He was wedged in real tight," LeBlanc said.

After a 45-minute struggle, they had it free. They quickly spread a word of warning to stay clear of its head.

"Because once it latches on to you, it's not going to let go. It's almost like an alligator. Once it latches on to you, it's going to take whatever it bites with it," Lewis added.

The men have decided a big turtle soup is not on the menu. They're going to set it free once they find a spot that's big enough.

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