A Louisiana man found a human finger in a large alligator snapping turtle and now police are trying to figure out who it belongs to.
The St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, Sheriff's Office posted a release on its Facebook page stating a Bush, Louisiana man contacted the department after he found the finger inside the turtle while he was cleaning and processing the animal for consumption. The turtle was caught on a trotline in a river in the western part of the parish.
The finger was turned over to the St. Tammany Parish Coroner's Office in an attempt to identify who it belonged to. Both the sheriff's office and the coroner's office attempted to to obtain a fingerprint, but were unsuccessful. Local hospitals were also contacted, but no information was found.
A search is being conducted in the area where the turtle was caught using human remains detection dogs as well as search and rescue dogs.
Alligator snapping turtles have scissor-like beaks and jaws powerful enough to cut cleanly through bone, said Luke Pearson, a University of Southern Mississippi graduate student. Pearson, along with fellow graduate student Gabbie Berry, is trapping and releasing alligator snapping turtles in Mississippi for research.
"They have a legendary reputation for having extremely powerful jaws, and they do," Pearson said in an earlier interview. "The big ones, I wouldn't doubt if they hit you right they could take a hand off.
"It's not something you want to get anywhere near. The beak is wicked."
The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office is asking for help in finding the person who lost the finger. Anyone with information is asked to call the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office at 985-898-2338 or the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office at 985-781-1150.
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