‘Squirmy’ Creature Spotted in Texas, Is it Heading to Louisiana?
People in Louisiana are used to seeing "interesting creatures". For most of those interesting creatures we not only have a healthy scientific interest but we have a recipe as well. Here in Louisiana, we make no bones about it, at some point every object that we encounter will be viewed as food or at least a possible addition to a meal.
Still, there are creatures and videos of creatures that catch our eye that even we aren't sure what to do with. The creature in question was spotted not too far down the road from here. In fact, it's less than an hour's drive from the state line to Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. You've probably seen the exit signs for it on I-10 if you've ever driven to Houston.
This past Wednesday Rangers with the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge shared a video of a creature they encountered and they asked you what you thought it was.
Okay, it wriggles and squirms as if it were a snake. It has an outer skin that makes it look like an armadillo or a pair of badly sewn men's alligator shoes. It doesn't appear to make any sounds. And yes, it would freak me out totally if you dropped this in my lap.
As you might imagine the video and post that accompanied the video caused a bit of a stir among the Gulf South citizens who live near the refuge. The good news is the creature does not appear to want to attack or threaten humans. The bad news is there could always be a first time, right?
Texas Wildlife Officials eventually identified the creature so that we the people could stop with our strange guesses. It's a turtle leech and just like the leeches you find in farm ponds across Louisiana, this creature is looking to attach itself to a host body and live off the blood. Fortunately for humans, the turtle leech appears to be only interested in turtles.
Texas Wildlife officials say a large infestation of the leeches can seriously harm the turtle population of a specific area if they are left to reproduce unchecked. Fortunately, there doesn't appear to be an out-of-balance number of them in the Anuhac Wildlife Refuge. But as far as I am concerned only finding one would be more than plenty.
And for all of our Cajun readers who have a recipe for the turtle leech, here are some ideas on seasonings you might consider. Bon Appetit.