Thai man cooks and eats wild snapping turtle that bit his finger

Yesterday, a Thai man attempted to capture a wild snapping turtle from a river in Kanchanaburi province in western Thailand. The feisty turtle bit the man’s middle finger and wouldn’t let go, causing a serious injury. When the injured man returned from the hospital, he cooked and ate the turtle for dinner.

Rescue workers rushed to Tha Maka district yesterday after receiving a report that someone had been bitten by a turtle. At the scene, they found 60 year old Payap [surname withheld] lying on the ground, crying in pain, completely shell-shocked. The snapping turtle was still attached to his hand.

The large snapping turtle (Trionyx cartilagineus) bit Payap’s middle finger and would not budge. It took rescue workers 10 minutes to pry the turtle’s jaw off Payap’s finger, but the damage was already done.

Payap’s middle finger was hanging off and rescue workers were sure that it would need to be amputated. However, the hospital managed to reattach the almost-severed finger with 10 stitches.

The injured man said he went down to the river intending to catch a snapping turtle for domestication. He said he wanted to feed the turtle so he prepared a tank of water to house it in.

However, the turtle was not best pleased with Payap’s plan and attacked him as soon as he picked it up. Payap said he tried to get the turtle off by himself, but neither he nor his family was able to. That’s when Payap requested help from the Khun Rattanawut Foundation.

But it wasn’t a turtle disaster. The turtle died in the process of being removed from his middle finger, said Payap. So, when he got back from the hospital, he and his family cooked and ate it.

Payap certainly won’t be attempting to capture any more snapping turtles from the river.

Thailand News


Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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