How dangerous are tortoise bites

Is the beast finally getting up to the collar? | Giant rake is supposed to get the turtle “Lotti” out of the mud

For three and a half weeks there has been a Schnappi alarm at the Oggenrieder Weiher pond in Irsee: After a boy (8) was bitten through the Achilles tendon while bathing, the whole place is in hunting fever: An alligator turtle that is said to live in the lake was identified as the culprit - but there is no trace of the beast called "Lotti".

Irsee (Bavaria) -Now Mayor Andreas Lieb (50) has a new plan: "We'll get you out of the mud with a giant rake."

The village blacksmith is supposed to build it - and the device could be used in three to four weeks.

When reached Andreas Lieb on the phone, he had just returned from an on-site visit at the pond: “Our employees are there three to four times a day, looking for the turtle,” he says. But again today in vain.

Turtle hunt in Irsee

The lost turtle hunters are unlucky: zoologists have once again confirmed that the bite actually came from an animal from the alligator turtle family, says Andreas Lieb. But there is a huge dilemma.

Two different specimens of the aggressive beast are possible: the vulture turtle and the snapping turtle. Andreas Lieb: “The first one is very lame and can hide for up to two years, even without food. A master of camouflage - practically invisible in the mud. The second is much more active, also on the road. They are both dangerous. "

The mayor explains: "Since nobody has seen them so far, we do not know which one it is."

They tried everything to catch “Lotti”: They pumped the lake down until only the muddy bottom could be seen, searched the embankment, also with sniffer dogs. They put up electric fences so that “Lotti” wouldn't escape.

In the meantime, water has been let into the pond again, says Andreas Lieb: "About a fifth of the area is about 20 centimeters high again - a better habitat for the turtle."

And not only that: There are also four "live traps" - converted beaver traps with carrion bait. “We hoped to lure and catch the animal in this way.” Again in vain.

So soon the new experiment with a giant rake. Andreas Lieb: “Our village blacksmith Hans Kohlhund wants to build it. He is already 75 years old and retired, but he is fit and active - and he said yes right away. "

The device is to be around a meter wide and forged from iron. The important thing, according to Andreas Lieb: "The tines must not be pointed, but rather blunt so that the animal is not injured."

The rake is then to be pulled over the bottom of the 16,000 square meter lake using a winch - and really comb through it.

Andreas Lieb: "If there is really a vulture turtle hidden in the mud, we will get it."

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