Mankato man finds potential world record turtle


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A potential record setting turtle was found last month in Republic County by Abe Mohler of Mankato. The specimen is a red eared slider measuring 11-5/8 inches, which would eclipse the known existing state record of 11-3/8 inches.

Mohler tells us about his discovery of the animal a few short weeks ago.

Biologist Jody Hadachek, an instructor at Rock Hills High School tells us more about the species and how he helped Mohler record the potential record setters measurements.

Upon further investigation, the 11-3/8 red eared slider on record is at least a national record if not a world record. Hadachek goes on to discuss his research into recorded history of this species.

A turtle with the same 11-3/8” shell length found in in Kansas in 1981 matches the length of another which was recorded in Virginia. Although, Virginia is not considered a natural habit for this species of turtle.

The means of getting the animal officially measured for the record has been a sticking point due to the requirements of the organization who Mohler approached about confirming this turtle as a record setter. He contacted the Sternberg Museum in Hays, but they wanted to keep the animal and put it down to go on display. If, in fact, it was a record setter. Mohler refused to volunteer to have the animal destroyed and has elected to release it instead.

The animal is estimated by Hadachek to possibly be 40 years old or more. Below you will find video of the turtle being measured at Rock Hills High School.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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