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Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
Ellington Agricultural Center
440 Hogan Road
Nashville, TN 37220
(615) 781-6500
Nashville Zoo Raises Alligator Snapping Turtles from Hatchlings

In September 2016, TWRA flew in 30 hatchling Alligator Snapping Turtles from Tishomingo National Fish Hatchery in Oklahoma to the Nashville Zoo. In a safe environment, the turtles will be raised at the zoo for three years before releasing them back into the wild. Often confused with the Common Snapping Turtle which thrives in waterways all across Tennessee, the prehistoric-looking Alligator Snapping Turtle is most easily distinguished by three large ridges along the back of its shell and its much larger size. This species was decimated by commercial harvesting in the 1960s and 70s and is now a species of Greatest Conservation Need.

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