Canoeist saves duck from clutches of snapping turtle

A snapping turtle holds a duck's foot tightly in an attempt to pull it underwater. Photo: Screen grab

A snapping turtle holds a duck’s foot tightly in an attempt to pull it underwater. Photo: Screen grab

Alan Haley and Melissa Vandall were paddling down the Seine River in Winnipeg, Manitoba, when they came across a rare sight in nature: a snapping turtle attempting to drag a duck under the water.

At first, the canoeists thought the duck was either caught up in some fishing line or wrapped up in plastic, Haley told CTV. As they got closer, however, they realized what was happening, and Haley felt compelled to intervene on behalf of the duck:

"The duck had too much fight in him to let the situation be, so we made sure he got free," Haley said on his YouTube post.

It wasn't an easy task, as the snapping turtle seemed to have a death grip on the duck's foot, and the log was the only thing preventing the duck’s demise. But eventually either Haley managed to pry the turtle's mouth open with the edge of the paddle or the turtle finally lost its grip, and the duck was freed.

"Some people are saying we did the right thing," Haley told CTV. "A few people are throwing in there, maybe even as a joke, that the turtle went hungry that night, but I don't think he'd have had much of a meal out of that foot anyway."

One thing is certain, though. This is not something you see every day.

"To see something like that in nature is not commonplace," James Duncan, director of Wildlife and Fisheries of Manitoba Conservation, told CTV. "So they witnessed something that would be one of the extreme ends of the behavior of the snapping turtle."

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