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Snapping turtle found severely beaten on golf course

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FREDONIA (WITI) -- A $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the persons responsible for the abuse to a female snapping turtle found on the Delbrook Golf Course in Delavan.

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.

Wildlife rehabilitators say surgery is planned to try to save the turtle’s life. The turtle has about a 40 percent chance of survival. On Tuesday morning, veterinarian Linda Mehoke with the Fredonia Vet Clinic took the case. It's possible there could be a spinal injury because the turtle is not moving its back legs. But there's more.

"The main problem is going to be controlling infection...and internal infection until that wound on the back can heal," said Mehoke.

The turtle was eggless, and rehabilitators say the turtle may have laid her eggs somewhere in the bunker.

The reward is being offered by the Global Conversation Group.

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.

Monitor FOX6 News and for updates on this developing story.

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