Snapping Turtle That Was Fed Live Puppy By Teacher Has Been Euthanized

Published March 19, 2018

The turtle was euthanized by the Department of Fish and Game for being an invasive species – not for eating a puppy.

Robert Crosland

Salt Lake TribuneRobert Crosland, the teacher who fed the puppy to the turtle.

Last week, an Idaho middle school teacher made headlines when he fed a live puppy to a snapping turtle as part of a science demonstration. Now, state officials say, the snapping turtle has been euthanized – though not because it ate a puppy.

The turtle in question, which had been kept in teacher Robert Crosland’s science classroom at Idaho’s Preston Junior High School, was fed a live puppy last week. According to a school parent, someone had brought a sick, abandoned puppy to Crosland, who was known for taking in sick animals.

Three students were in Crosland’s classroom at the time, feeding the other animals Crosland kept there. They watched as Crosland attempted to help the puppy, but eventually deemed it unable to be saved. Then, they watched as Crosland put the puppy into the tank of his snapping turtle, where it drowned and was eaten.

Following the event, Crosland and Preston Junior High School received backlash from outraged parents, community members, and animal rights groups. Though a school staff member filed a report, Crosland remains teaching at the school. The school and Crosland both received threats of violence online, resulting in police officers being stationed outside the school to protect the safety of the students.

The snapping turtle, however, was not so safe.

Snapping Turtle Open Mouth

As a result of the investigation into the allegations of animal cruelty, the Department of Agriculture was made aware of Crosland’s possession of the animal. In Idaho, snapping turtles are considered an invasive species, and without a permit, are considered illegal to own. On March 13, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game seized the turtle and “humanely” euthanized it.

Though the turtle is gone, animal rights groups, and concerned online citizens are not resting. However, despite the horrific event, the students at Preston Junior High School remain on Crosland’s side.

“It’s really hard on a small community, like Preston, to watch them tear apart somebody that everybody loves,” River McKay, a former student and “really good friend” of Crosland said. According to the mother of two of the boys, McKay said, the three boys who watched the ordeal all understood what was happening as they’d grown up on farms. The incident was only turned over to police when a school official overheard and reported it.


Next, read about the live donkey that was fed to a tiger at a zoo. The, read about the sea turtle who had almost 1,000 coins removed from its stomach.

Katie Serena
Katie Serena is a New York City-based writer and a staff writer at All That Is Interesting.
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