“SNAPPER” is a story that mirrors the raucous vitality of masterpieces such as “Jaws” and “Tremors.”“SNAPPER” mixes suspense, horror, humor and bayou country hi-jinks to conjure up a tale that just might be true, as a Giant Alligator Snapping Turtle, whose natural habitat is being destroyed by an evil oil drilling company, goes on a rampage in the small Louisiana river town of Scottsville.
The 15 foot, 3 ton Snapper, eats and destroys anything in its path.After several locals have mysteriously disappeared, Herpetologists Matt Peterson and Professor Jonathan Moorehead, along with Moorehead’s beautiful daughter, Jennifer, suspect that something strange is going on and set out to investigate.
Caspar Lloyd, whose oil company is illegally polluting the bayou, doesn’t want them snooping around and attempts to curtail their investigation by various forms of subterfuge.Sheriff Roy Hawkins, the Scottsville Constable, doesn’t believe the story about the Giant Snapping Turtle and warns Matt and the Professor to leave the investigations to the police.
But with the assistance of the cantankerous hermit, Sam Wade, our heroes journey out into the unexplored regions of the bayou, where no man has ever set foot.It is in this foreboding domain of the swamp that they must contend with the monstrous terrapin himself, along with Caspar Lloyd and his red-neck henchmen who are attempting to cover up the illegal oil drilling operation.
ALLIGATOR SNAPPING TURTLE
The Alligator Snapping Turtle is the largest fresh-water turtle found in the United States.It lives in the rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, from Texas to Western Florida.Its center of abundance is in the lower Mississippi Valley, where it ranges north as far as central Illinois.It attains a weight of 250 pounds, although larger specimens have been reported, including a veritable giant of 403 pounds.
This reptile is the undisputed monarch of all it surveys and is as savage as it looks.The bite of the Alligator Snapper is legendary.Folklore has it that even if the turtle is decapitated, the head will live until sundown.Backwoodsmen in the Southeast claim that the animal can bite a broomstick in two and will hold on to a victim until the sky thunders.According to Uley Bass, a veteran Florida turtle hunter, there is some truth to this claim.
“Late one night sixteen years ago, my son and I pulled an old 75 pound Alligator Snapper out of the swamp.Like a fool I put the Snapper right behind me in the boat.After a time we got stuck in some reeds, so I reached back for a paddle and ‘SLAM,’ something hit my hand so fast I didn’t know what had happened.Then all of a sudden there was blood everywhere, and my son was shouting, ‘Dad, two of your fingers just dropped into the bottom of the boat’.”
Alligator Snappers do not have discriminating appetites.Anything that wanders by is fair game.Dissected stomachs have contained baby alligators, raccoons, snakes, acorns, shoes, and even other turtles.It is primarily nocturnal and aptly named.One large Snapper, after being hauled on board by some trappers, bit a sizeable chunk out of their wooden canoe, according to a 1950 account.