So, when you come across a wayward, two-foot-wide snapper in the middle of the street, would you know how to pick it up and get it to safety? This guy didn’t, but he gave it his all anyway and managed to keep all his digits.

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_Ron Aromando is not afraid of animals, but does have difficulty with heights and flying. Besides being a business owner, artist, husband and father, Aromando could put animal rescuer on his list.

__On Sept. 4, Aromando rescued a two-foot round snapping turtle from the middle of a Main Street, a half-mile from his Kennebunk Outdoor Surf and Skate shop. Aromando said he was driving home when he hit stopped traffic. Unsure whether the cause was construction or if there were a wounded animal in the street, he pulled over to see what was going on.

__”As I walked over, I saw all these people standing around this snapping turtle not knowing what to do,” Aromando said. “I had never seen a snapping turtle before in my life.” Snapping turtles prefer calm, muddy water and swamps, according to an article on snapping turtles by the Tortoise Trust organization. They have long necks and powerful jaws. They can attack if they feel threatened. An adult is often more than 18 inches long and weighs more than 30 pounds.

Aromando explained he was unsure what to do, but knew he couldn’t leave the turtle in the middle of the road.

“I didn’t know how to handle it when I went to grab it,” he said. “So I just grabbed it from both sides of its shell.”

As soon as he picked the turtle up it began trashing everywhere, cutting up Aromando’s hands. He didn’t learn until later that the correct way to handle a snapping turtle is to hold it by its tail and pick it up from underneath its shell.

Aromando said the turtle was snapping in front of him the whole time, but was unaware that the turtle’s neck could reach in all directions around its shell. “That was nice, I almost got my fingers cut off,” he said with a laugh.
Aromando ultimately ended up using his truck bed and a snow shovel to further transport the monster snapper.

What kinds of errant creatures have you come across in the middle of the street?

–Dave Maccar