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Oklahoma State University
Center for Veterinary Health Sciences

Healthy Animals - Healthy People

Snapping Turtle Released

Friday, June 16 2017

two men and a woman with snapping turtle

Members of the Avian, Exotics and Zoo Medicine Service at Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences released a rehabilitated common snapping turtle back into the wild today.

The turtle was brought into OSU’s Veterinary Medical Hospital by a Good Samaritan. Based on its condition, it appeared that the turtle had been struck by an automobile. Veterinarians treated superficial injuries, and gave supportive care and pain management.  Time was given to allow for healing and to ensure the turtle could see properly as there was some eye trauma.

Fully recovered, Stillwater Nature Camp attendees named the turtle Luke and watched as the snapping turtle was released into Sanborn Lake located just outside of Stillwater.

The hospital treats more than 500 wildlife cases a year. To support the veterinary medical care provided to these animals, contact Chris Sitz with the OSU Foundation at 405-385-5170 or

Pictured above: Ian Kanda, registered veterinary technician at the OSU Veterinary Medical Hospital holding Luke (center), Stillwater Nature Camp director, Ms. Crystal (left) and camp counselor Carsten (right).