By: Joanne M. Haas/Bureau of Law Enforcement
The snapping turtle found beaten in a sand bunker at the Delbrook Golf Course in Delavan Monday morning has died, the wildlife care facility reported today.
Meanwhile, Conservation Warden Juan Gomez of Walworth County says an investigation is under way. Anyone with any information related to this case is asked to call the DNR Hotline -- 1-800-847-9367. This hotline is staffed 24 hours, 7 days a week. Callers can remain anonymous.
The snapping turtle was taken to Pine View Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center for care. Today, the Fredonia-based center posted this message on its website: "Our turtle has died. Hopefully, a life not lost in vain. We will continue to be proactive as stewards on behalf of this victim, as well as the other voiceless creatures we share this earth with. We thank you all for your concern and support. Although this is devastating, it is a catalyst to continue."
The international Global Conservation Group, with its Wisconsin offices based out of Watertown, is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the beating of this snapping turtle. The group announced its reward on its Twitter account, @GBC3000.
Warden Gomez received the call about the turtle on June 10 about 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.
Wildlife rehabilitators said the turtle had about a 40 percent chance of survival. The turtle was eggless, and rehabilitators said the turtle may have laid her eggs.
If you have any information related to the beating of this snapping turtle at the Delbrook Golf Course in Delavan, please call the DNR Hotline at 1-800-TIP-WDNR or 1-800-847-9367. Callers can remain anonymous.