- Associated Press - Thursday, August 27, 2015

SMITHTOWN, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities caution that an abandoned alligator snapping turtle found on Long Island over the weekend is a dangerous reptile.

The Suffolk County SPCA says the 25-pound turtle is powerful enough to bite off toes or part of a foot.

The agency is trying to figure out how it ended up on Long Island.

SPCA Chief Roy Gross says the reptiles are mainly found from eastern Texas to the Florida Panhandle.

It was discovered by a kayaker and his son in a stream in Smithtown at the intersection of routes 25 and 25A.

Alligator snapping turtles have strong hooked beaks. Their shells have three serrated ridges along their backs. They can stay on the bottoms of rivers, lakes and canals 40 to 50 minutes at a time.

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