Police in Louisiana are investigating a human finger that was found inside of an alligator snapping turtle.
The alligator snapping turtle is the largest freshwater turtle and it has a nasty reputation. They primarily dwell in the southeastern United States, typically swimming in the deepest water they can find, including large North American rivers, canals, lakes and swamps.
Now, law enforcement officials in St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office are puzzling over a human finger that turned up in the belly of one such beast.
Alligator snappers, which are much bigger than common snapping turtles, mate in the Mississippi River system in early spring. Alligator snapping turtles look like a throwback to the dinosaur days, with creepy black eyes on either side of their heads, nasty powerful jaws, and shells dotted with prehistoric-looking spikes.
It seems that a Bush-area man called deputies after finding an actual finger as he was gutting a large alligator snapping turtle after catching it on a trotline. This prehistoric-looking alligator snapper looks like a refuge from a National Geographic special.
The St. Tammany Parish Coroner's Office took possession of the finger in an attempt to discover the identity of the mystery person in question.
The macroclemys temminckii is a part of the animal diversity web. But, it's going to lose its conservation status--IUCN Red List of Threatened Species--if people keep finding body parts inside of them!
Deputies in the case have gone as far as using a cadaver-sniffing dog and reaching out to local hospitals in an effort to identify the remains. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office at (985) 898-2338.