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Friday, July 27, 2012

Timothy Sizemore, proprietor of Campshore Campgrounds, with one of many unwilling participants in the "games" at Snapperfest, a "festival" of 15 YEARS DURATION near Rising Sun, Indiana. Contestants vie to be the fastest to yank a snapping or soft-shelled turtle's head out of its shell without losing a finger. In the process, they run, carrying the turtles, usually drop each one several to dozens of times, break its shell and limbs, poke its eyes, and slam it down on a tarp. They also expose themselves to salmonella and a great variety of other waterborne bacteria which are carried naturally in the intestinal tracts of wild snapping turtles.

This just in:

Today Collette Adkins Giese, the Herptofauna lawyer for the Center for Biodiversity got a call from a
DNR enforcement official who said that they've been told the event is
cancelled and that they are closely monitoring the situation to ensure that
it is actually cancelled.

So a victory for snappers. And on their behalf a big thanks to all the people who created petitions, promoted them, went to the various meetings that resulted in this decision. You know who you are. As Collette said "I was late to the game, everyone else deserves the praise."

But as the DNR says"They are closely monitoring to ensure that it is actually canceled." 
Which to me shows they don't trust their word as much as many of(sic) we do. 
So keep up with your monitoring of advertising, planned visits, whatever. Just do it quietly.
Let's give them a chance to be true to their word.

Allen Salzberg
HerpDigest: The Only Free Internet-Only Weekly Newslettter that Reports on the Latest Reptile and Amphibian Scientific and Conservation News 
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Had a rough day here--20 hours without power, chasing all over creation to buy a used generator, and another severe thunderstorm bearing down on us as I write. Opened my email from yesterday to find this. I have to say, there is some seriously good turtle karma coming down right now. First the Return of Shelly, and now this!!

Thanks to all of you who responded to my appeal to write and call Indiana wildlife and county authorities. I'll likely never know if my letters to the Surgeon General and Indiana health department officials made a difference, but I'd like to think they did. Special thanks to my Snapperfest Advisory Board, made up of herpetologists, wildlife disease specialists, public health experts, government insiders and wise men and women, for making me sound smarter and better-informed than I am. Doesn't matter how it happened: it happened. And Snapperfest participants are going to have to find something else to do for fun. Tough toenail. Go play with toys, not native turtles.


This is Happiness Overload!

Good news. Thanks to you and everyone who worked to shut down this stupid, sadistic "event."


OMG!!! What incredible news!!!

I think I've just come up with a Happy Turtle Dance (well, not a dance per se). Everyone sitting down extend your arms, legs and neck (like Shelly when she was "going home"), then shake it all around, you do the Happy Turtle Dance and turn yourself around...that's what it's all about!

This is fabulous news!! As a resident of Indiana, I was shamed that this was allowed to go on in the past--and likely still would have. Thanks to all who made contacts, (I did as well). A big thanks to you Julie for your efforts and keeping us aware & informed,


Posted by Anonymous July 28, 2012 at 8:47 AM

I had NO idea about this horrible "sport." How low can a human go? I just shudder. And thanks, Julie, for doing what you did to help get this thing shut down.

So glad to hear that this has stopped!

Wonderful news! Thank you so much for all you've done.

Very happy to read this.
I watch Animal Planet a fair bit (with my dog, by the way who LOVES it...seriously). But one show they have really bothers me--at least the promos for it bother me: "The Call of the Wildman" (aka Turtle Man). It seems to feature the "star" catching snapping turtles bare-handed. My concern is that it fosters the heartless attitute displayed in the Snapperfest.

Congratulations and solidarity from Portugal.
Excellent new for the relief of turtles and conscient, compassionate, generous people.
Vasco Reis, Aljezur, Portugal


Beatriz gomes
Porto Alegre/Brasil

Posted by Anonymous July 29, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Thanks so much for this post, and all of your work behind this event! Much love and respect for anyone who cares about our Chelonian friends as much as I do. <3

When I read about the existence of "Snapperfest" I was totally embarrassed that those people represented to some, the image of what Hoosiers are. From the behavior of my own tortoise, who's taught me so much more about animal behavior, and the stories about Shelly, it should be obvious that they are intelligent, feeling creatures - not animated stones.

By the way, I gave mine her first bit of boiled egg a few days ago, as far as I know her first in 50 or so years, and she loved it - even the whites? Does it seem as though Shelly might find her own way back to the house if she took it into her mind to do so?

What wonderful news! Thanks for making us aware of such atrocities and contributing to it's demise. We have plenty of snappers down here in Florida and no, they never appear thankful when I rescue them from being hit by cars, but I'm sure in their hearts they are. It'd be hard with that mouth, nails and tail to pull off a sweet, grateful expression...

Great news.
Power to the People.

Thanks to everyone who helped get this canceled. It just goes to show that we can, if we all stick together and keep at it, stop animal cruelty! Great job!!

Posted by Anonymous July 30, 2012 at 9:12 AM

That is great! That has got to be the most disgusting thing, EVER.

This good news. I can't even begin to understand why people think this is a good time. Sickening.

Disgusting. Perhaps people can join together now to stop the Texas rattlesnake roundups.

It has now been announced it is partially cancelled!! What is that suppose to mean? Not good. Linda Beane

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