CEDAR SPRINGS, MI (WXMI) — A graphic video of siblings sawing off the head of a turtle was recently posted to Facebook, sparking controversy.
Catrina Shears, 17, of Cedar Springs recently posted the 43 second video to Facebook (warning, some of what you will hear is graphic but the decapitation is not shown). According to her comments, she was helping her brother take the head off a snapping turtle. She said they were in rush and could not find an axe.
Watching the video, you can see Catrina uses pliers to pull the turtle’s head out from its shell while her brother steps on the turtle. Then for at least 20 seconds, you can see and hear her brother use a hack-saw to slowly decapitate the animal.
According to Catrina’s comments, she seems unaffected, and said they have done this for years, and described how they let the animal’s blood drain for several hours. Then she commented that she “should have taken a video of the blood squirting” from the turtle’s neck.
This sparked a cross-fire on Facebook: hundreds of comments from across the country protesting this method of killing. Some said they always hunt and kill animals where the death is instant.
Despite many hunters saying an ax or gun should be used before decapitation, others questioned how to kill a snapping turtle, and said “decapitation is the humane way to kill a snapping turtle.”
Multiple people shared the video then contacted the Department of Natural Resources.
The DNR released a statement and said they reviewed the video and spoke with law enforcement.
“We are certainly disappointed anyone would post something like that to social media.
Although the actions depicted in this video are technically legal under state statute—provided that the capture of the turtle was legal—we would advocate a more rapid means of taking the animal’s life. We further hope this turtle was taken for the purpose of human consumption.”
According to Facebook, Catrina will meet with police regarding the threats she faces.
Both the Kent County Sheriff’s Office and Cedar Springs Police Department said they were unaware of this posting and are not handling this case.