Snapping Turtles in Haliburton, Ontario

A few weeks ago, it was the time when turtles are laying their eggs. We saw a lot of snapping turtles (or snappers) on the side of the roads looking for places to lay their eggs. I wanted to take some photos, so we decided to stop. They don’t move very quickly which makes it easy to get within range for taking photos. I used an 18-200 mm lens so that I wouldn’t have to get too close and disturb them. These were taken on Elephant Lake Road in Haliburton County, Ontario.


I looked up snapping  turtles on the internet so that I could find out more about them. The only real thing I knew about them is that we were a bit afraid of them and would move them out of our lake into another one whenever we found one. It wasn’t too thrilling for us when we later moved to the very lake where we had put them into the water. 

Snapping turtles are the largest freshwater turtles in Canada. They are impressive to see, especially when you get up close and see how “ugly” or prehistoric looking they are. They grow to an average length of 20-36 cm (8 – 14.2 in) and weigh from 4.5-16.0 kg (10 – 35 lb).

Apparently, these turtles can live to well over 100 years old. They cannot pull their head and legs into their shell, so will snap at anything that appears to be a danger to them. However, it is still safe to swim in the same waters as the turtles because they have not been known to bite when in the water. 

 These females are at least 17 years old, as they do not breed until they are 17 to 19 years old. They  will lay between 40 – 50 eggs, which will hatch in the fall. The baby turtles are about the size of a loonie when they hatch.  

This female had not laid any eggs at this point, but was digging a very deep hole to lay them in. She is digging in the side of the road where the gravel is very soft and easier for her to dig in. 

I didn’t realize when I started looking at information about the snappers that they can live for such a long time. Their life span is longer than most humans. The majority of us do not live to be 100. Our lives here on earth are shorter than this. We need to make the most of our time here on earth, and most importantly, we need to be prepared for when we leave this world. We will meet the Creator of this world and the Creator of us. 

But to all who did receive Him (Jesus), 
who believed in His name, 
He gave the right to become children of God
John 1:12


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