FREDONIA (WITI) -- The female snapping turtle found beaten on the Delbrook Golf Course in Delavan Monday, June 10th has died. A reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the persons responsible.
WARNING: Pictures below are graphic and not suitable for all
Officials with the Pine View Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Fredonia recovered the turtle from the golf course late on Monday, June 10th. It apparently had been abused that morning — possibly between 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.
The turtle, a female looking for a place to lay her eggs, was found lying in the sand bunker off Hole 4 North. Wildlife rehabilitators indicate the turtle had holes in its shell and also was struck in the right eye. It appeared to have been beaten with a golf club. The golf course superintendent saw the turtle about 7:30 a.m. when it was in the bunker preparing to lay her eggs, and was not in the condition reported about two hours later. The warden and the superintendent searched the bunker after 9:30 a.m. but no eggs were found.
“I am wordless, which is rare for people who know me. I have no defense for this type of criminal act,” said Jeannie Lord, Exec. Dir. of Pine View Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.
The turtle had about a 40 percent chance of survival.
The turtle was eggless, and rehabilitators say the turtle may have laid her eggs somewhere in the bunker.
A minimum of $6,000 in reward money has been put up, and contributions are coming from PETA, golfers and others.
"I can't wrap my mind around it. I can't make sense of it. We want to find out who did this, whatever the proper punishment is -- make sure that happens, and from there, just continue to educate golfers," Dan Piecha with the golf course said.
Piecha says junior golfers are taught safety, respect for others and respect for the golf course. He says they are now also being taught respect for animals.
If you have information about this abuse, please contact the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Emergency Tip Line: 1-800-TIPWDNR. Callers can remain anonymous.