Large snapping turtle causes a stir in Kure

The discovery of a large snapping turtle at a bus stop caused a stir in the sleepy town of Ondo in Kure last week.

It seems that this is the time of year that brings out all sorts of creatures. The rain flushes out stinging mukade centipedes, snakes become active in the warmer temperatures and even bears venture out of the woods.

Last week, however, RCC News reported on a surprising discovery under a bus stop bench in Ondo in Kure City. A local man initially thought an object under the bench was a stone, but on closer inspection discovered it was a large turtle.

And quite large it was too, at 35cm in length.

35cm long snapping turtle discovered in Kure

The turtle was determined to be a snapping turtle (kamitsuki-game in Japanese) which can grow to be 50cm in length and weigh 30kg. As their name suggests they can give a nasty bite that can break a human’s finger.

The description of the turtle by the TV presenters as extremely dangerous seems a bit over the top as it sounds like they are pretty chill when it comes to humans if left alone.

It is not known where the turtle came from, but authorities conjecture that recent rain may have washed it out of a nearby pond. It is also possible that someone keeping the turtle as a pet had released it. Authorities warn that if it came from the pond there may be other snapping turtles breeding there and to raise the alarm if any other specimens are spotted.

The breeding, keeping, transport and release of snapping turtles is prohibited under law as they are designated as an invasive alien species. So, if a family of snapping turtles that has made a home in the pond, they may be wondering why this one hasn’t returned from its bus trip, as it has been destroyed.

RCC News | Kure City

Paul Walsh

Paul arrived in Hiroshima "for a few months" back in 1996. He is the co-founder of and loves running in the mountains.