On Father's Day, the family caught a special species in Lake Cherokee

On Father’s Day, the family caught a special species in Lake Cherokee

Justin Broomhall got a turtle hook because “he didn’t want to get an infection.”

LAKE CHEROKEE, Texas – A family from East Texas made a trip to Lake Cherokee on Father’s Day and caught a life catch, but because it is a protected species, they released it back into the water.

Kirk Clendening, a Texas warden from Rusk County, has confirmed that it is an alligator turtle.

Lakestine Broomhall, 3, says the turtle was huge.

“It was so big,” Broomhall said. The 3-year-old said it looked like a dinosaur.

His father Justin Broomhall says that after being posted on social media, many people thought the photo was not real.

“Everyone told Tik Tok and Facebook that it was photoshopped,” Broomhall said. “I’m telling you, God, the honest truth was that it was the biggest turtle I’ve ever seen.”

After Broomhall caught the snatching turtle, he went into the water to help save the turtle.

“I’ve seen a lot of people leave hooks and ropes in the water and seen fish and snakes drowning,” Broomhall said.

Broomhall said he didn’t want the turtle to get the infection off the hook.

“He’s 100 years old, he needs to live another 100 years,” Broomhall said.

Broomhall said it happens to other fishermen, try to get a hook out of the animal’s mouth if possible.

If it is an alligator snatching turtle, fishermen will not be able to take the turtle out of the water.

“In Texas, it’s considered an endangered species,” Clendening said. “Because it’s protected, you can’t take or own it.”

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