No, that's not the snapper that attacked me, that's just the statue of the snapper that lives in Irvine Park in Chippewa Falls.
So, what's the deal? Is early summer the time of year when all the snappers and other turtles decide to commit mass suicide by SLOWLY crossing the road to lay their eggs in random places? It seems like they're out in droves this time of year. It also seems like you can't cross the state of Wisconsin without seeing three or four snappers that have been just split in half. I can't figure out if people maliciously try to run them over, but it seems like a shame whenever you see one of those big dead ones. Don't they take about 75 years to get that big? Maybe not everyone knows that.
Or maybe I'm missing something and there's some reason that people turn into giant turtle assassins? I don't know.
Anyway, the other day I was out for a run on the path right next to the buffalo habitat in Irvine Park (seriously, Irvine Park is awesome...they literally have a buffalo habitat). So I was running along when a warden said, "watch out, there's a snapper dug in up there by the cone." He'd stuck a big orange parking cone to mark the spot, and sure enough, as I approached I could see this big snapper sitting in there with it's evil beak that latches on to you and won't let go unless you cut off its head (or so they say).
Well, I hurdled the animal (actually I ran around it because those things can leap fifty feet straight up in the air) and continued on my way. I got out to my turn-around point and headed back. It was getting dark but I wasn't too concerned because I knew that the turtle's location was marked. So I trotted along and got close to the cone. I glanced in as I passed it, and was surprised to discover that the turtle was gone!
That thing could be anywhere, and I realized that in the low light the chance of my accidentally stepping on its head and irritating it (thus provoking a battle to the death) had risen exponentially.
I scoured the ground, getting more and more nervous the longer I went before I finally found the creature's hiding place. Finally I spotted it, about twenty meters down from it's original hole. I gave the beast a wide berth and headed home without incident.
So seriously people, is my concern over the jumping/biting powers of snapping turtles exaggerated, or can those things really be dangerous. I rely on the mercy of the internet to enlighten me!