A science teacher is being investigated after it's alleged he fed a live puppy to a snapping turtle in front of students.
An animal activist claims a teacher told her Robert Crosland, of Preston Junior High in the US state of Idaho, fed a live puppy to a turtle in front of students last week, Fox 13 Salt Lake City reports.
The activist, Jill Parrish, filed a police report and said "it is sick" and "not okay" if true. The puppy was reportedly ill.
Este Hull, a Year 7 student at the school, said she's only heard of Mr Crosland feeding mice or birds to his animals, but felt "a little bit better" that the puppy was not healthy and "was going to die" anyway.
Parents, Annette Salvesen and Julie Johnson, agreed with the student.
Ms Johnson said Mr Crosland is the best science teacher the school has while Ms Salvesen said anyone who didn't want to watch the puppy die should have left the room.
Three former students told East Idaho News that Mr Crosland fed guinea pigs to snakes and snapping turtles during class. One of them added, "he is a cool teacher who really brought science to life".
In a statement to Fox 13, the school district said the alleged event occurred "well after students had been dismissed and was not a part of any school directed program". It added no students or staff had their safety compromised but did not name the teacher involved.
"District administration was made aware of the issue soon after it occurred and immediately began the process of investigation and taking steps to ensure that this type of action could not be repeated," the statement reads.
"A part of any investigation includes determining the best course of action once the facts of the matter have been ascertained."
School district superintendent Mark Gee said Mr Crosland is still employed by the school and would not be placed on administrative leave.
In a statement, PETA's senior director of cruelty casework Stephanie Bell urged the district to take the investigation seriously and said Mr Crosland "should not be allowed near impressionable young people".
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But a Change.org petition from River McKay, a former student of Mr Crosland, is imploring the school district to keep him as a teacher.
It's been signed by more than 2000 people.
One user commented the teacher "can do no wrong" and "he is one of the only teachers that cares about his job and is willing to go the extra mile".
Local police confirmed they were also investigating the matter.