Farmington police sergeant Kevin Mincke had to relocate a large snapping turtle last weekFarmington police sergeant Kevin Mincke never really knows what he’s going to encounter once he hits the roads on patrol. Last week, that meant Mincke had to rescue a really, really big turtle.
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent
Farmington police sergeant Kevin Mincke never really knows what he’s going to encounter once he hits the roads on patrol. Last week, that meant Mincke had to rescue a really, really big turtle.
Or possibly, it meant he rescued a homeowner from the large turtle that had found its way to the front step of a Farmington home. Either way, Mincke was called to remove what he estimates to be a 15-pound snapping turtle from a residential area and return it to someplace more suitable for turtles.
On the afternoon of Sept. 4, Farmington fire marshal John Powers was leaving the scene of a Dunbury Knoll house fire after spending most of his day there. He was on Dunbury Avenue when a woman, walking with a few children, flagged him down. The woman had spotted this large snapping turtle on the stoop of a nearby home.
Powers called it in, not really sure how such a problem would be handled. Mincke, it turns out, had responded to a similar call a few years ago, so he responded.
When Mincke arrived he found the snapping turtle on the front step of a house on the 18800 block of Dunbury Avenue.
“It was a real good size,” Mincke said. “It’ll take a finger off, no problem.”
Checking with neighbors, Mincke was able to get a shovel to scoop up the turtle without touching it. At first, he tried to place the turtle into a cardboard box, but it burst through the sides. Another neighbor found a plastic bin with a lid, which worked much better.
Mincke took the snapping turtle down to the foot bridge in Empire Township and released it into the Vermillion River.
“It was kind of cool. This thing was ready to go. He stuck his head out, looked around and said, ‘I’m outta here,’” Mincke said. “He kind of tucked his head down, pushed off and away he went into the water.”
It’s hard to say how the snapping turtle found its way onto that doorstep. There are smaller ponds around the neighborhood, and there is wetland area not far from the home.
Mincke is good-natured about the whole ordeal.
“It’s just stuff like that that we do all the time,” he said. “All in a day’s work, you know.”