German town building giant rake in attempt to catch bite-happy snapping turtle

Published September 04, 2013

| FoxNews.com

After hunting dogs, an electric fence and traps couldn’t get the job done, a German town looking to remove a snapping turtle from a lake has asked a blacksmith to create a giant rake to fish out the sharp-beaked reptile.

Authorities in Irsee believe the turtle, nicknamed “Lotti,” is hiding in the mud of nearby Oggenreider Lake. An 8-year-old boy was swimming there earlier this year when he severed his Achilles tendon, and experts say an Alligator snapping turtle – the world’s largest freshwater kind -- bit him, The Local reports. 

For the past seven weeks, a search for the turtle has yielded no results.

"We'll get her out of the sludge with a giant rake," Mayor Andreas Lieb told The Bild newspaper. “The teeth [of the rake] shouldn't be pointed, but blunt so that the creature isn't hurt.”

Lieb hopes the 3-foot-wide rake will be ready to use in three weeks, and authorities plan to drag it with a rope to cover the 172,000 square-foot lake floor. 

Alligator turtles can live to be up to 200 years old, The Local reports. The average shell length of a male is 26 inches, and they can weigh up to 220 pounds, according to the National Geographic.

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