They thought these guys were extinct in Illinois until now.
In some rather exciting wildlife news coming out of Illinois, someone just found an alligator snapping turtle. Now, these turtles are not on the verge of extinction, but they are becoming more and more rare. Some states have them listed an endangered or threatened. In Illinois, though, it’s been decades since anyone’s seen one. In the last 50 years, there’s only been one other seen. However, even though they just found one, they went and lost it just as fast.
After researchers found this turtle at Southern Illinois University, they immediately put a GPS tracker on it. However, somebody forgot to check the batteries and the signal stopped shortly after it was released. Finding this turtle is incredibly important because this single turtle may indicate the last suitable habitat for the species in its far north territory. Seeing as it was found in a tributary of the Mississippi, more turtles could be in the area.
Researchers will know if they find this alligator snapping turtle again, though. They’re sure the GPS tracker would still be attached to the shell. However, they also notched its shell just in case.