State DEC investigating case of teens abusing snapping turtle

ELMA, N.Y. (WIVB) – State Department of Environmental Conservation Officials are  investigating a disturbing case of animal abuse that was posted on social media.

It involves some young adults and a snapping turtle that they reportedly saw on the side of a road. You may have heard about a disturbing Facebook video circulating on social media.

It shows multiple teens attacking and beating a snapping turtle.

According to Facebook viewers the incident happened Monday and is believed to have happened in the Elma area.

The video is graphic in nature and shows at least two teenagers poking the snapping turtle with a stick and throwing a tree branch on top of its shell.

People writing on Facebook claim the teenagers featured here are from Iroquois High School.

We spoke with Iroquois Central Schools Superintendent Douglas Scofield.

He says this incident did not happen on school property or during school hours, but they are conducting their own internal investigation.

Scofield says the DEC has some people they are interested in based on images captured from the Facebook video. Leaders with the DEC, released a statement in part about their investigation saying: “Wildlife, including snapping turtles, are protected and regulated in New York State under NYS Environmental Conservation Law. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC’s) Division of Law Enforcement is actively investigating the incident. If you spot an environmental crime, you can report it to an Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) by contacting DEC’s 24 hour hotline at 1-844-DEC-ECOs (1-844-332-3267).”

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