Success: Turtle-Abusing Event Cancelled

snapping turtle

Target: Stephen Wells, Executive Director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund

Goal: Praise the cancellation of ‘Snapperfest’ event that torments turtles.

An event known as Snapperfest, where contestants torment snapping turtles for entertainment, has been cancelled. The cancellation of this event came in the wake of protest from animal rights activists, including our friends here at ForceChange. Contestants would pull the heads out of live turtles at these events to demonstrate their strength, according to a report from the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

In online videos, contestants can be seen wrenching the heads from live turtles and holding them up by their necks. The terrified turtles are regularly thrown and dropped in these videos, and treating them in such a rough way can potentially cause injuries. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources announced that live turtles will no longer be used in these events.

This event was in violation of an Indiana animal cruelty law that forbids the intentional neglect of a vertebrate animal. The event caused unnecessary stress and injury to these innocent animals, and we should all praise the fact that it has been cancelled. It sets a poor example to young children who witness the turtles being thrown around like rag dolls. Snapping turtles should remain in the wild, and they should never be harassed for the entertainment of humans. We need to call out people who mistreat animals, and this case has shown that individuals can make a difference.

Thanks to public outrage, Snapperfest is now a thing of the past. Sign this petition to praise the cancellation of Snapperfest.


Dear Mr. Wells,

I would like to praise your organization for successfully working to end the cruel event known as Snapperfest in which turtles were harassed and injured by having their heads wrenched out of their shells. This event was labeled as a family-friendly event, but the reality was that turtles were being blatantly mistreated.

In some videos of the event, they are seen being thrown to the ground and having their necks clenched in the fists of the people who wrestle them. This event set a poor example to young children who witnessed it, because it sent a clear message that it’s okay to harass wildlife. It is my hope that such events will be replaced with humane displays of wildlife which raise awareness to their way of life and to their ecology and conservation.

This case is yet another example of how people can place pressure on those who commit such cruelties and ultimately stop them. I congratulate you on this accomplishment, and I wish you luck in your continued efforts to protect animals.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Seney Natural History Association via Flickr

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  1. Ravinder Singh says:


  2. After reading the description of what exactly happens to these poor helpless turtles I was speechless !!!!! Thank You for cancelling this unbelievable act of cruelty. It’s horrifying to know that some of our fellow humans actually enjoy watching animals suffer !!!!!!!!!

  3. Linda Amundson says:

    Having seen video of Snapperfest online last year, I’m so glad this brutality is finally ending. The people participating and attending this event, with them there beers in their hands, looked like a bunch of hillbilly inbreds.

  4. What kind of Neanderthal people are we breeding? Who the f..k enjoys doing something like this?

  5. These monsters derive their entertainment from events that I would never have even dreamed of in my wildest imagination. Where do they come from, who are these monsters. They are breaking the law, they should be apprehended, arrested, arraigned and then prosecuted. To not do so, would also be in violation of the law itself, because if these monsters are exonerated, they will go on to other miserable and harmful stuff, possibly even next to humans.

  6. This planet used to be paradise a long time ago, before humans appeared on it. It may be a long while before it turns into a paradise again. But there is no reason why, with lots of effort, faith, goodwill, education and the necessary strength, it couldn’t…

  7. Thank God for the cancellation — finally, rationality and compassion and level-headedness and caring have entered the fray …. WE MUST PROTECT OUR ANIMALS!

  8. What kind of an A-HOLE would abuse such a precious, vulnerable creature that is obviously incapable of defending itself? So unfortunate that our world is full of too many psychopaths !!! Only a psychopath could abuse a turtle … or any other living creature for that matter. The mental midgets who have participated in this activity in the past need to have their heads examined; they are clearly suffering from some type of illness. Animals were not put on this planet to entertain humans.


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