Massive ‘alligator snapping turtle’ shell-shocks DC suburb

Massive ‘alligator snapping turtle’ shell-shocks DC suburb

We’re almost two years away from the next “Jurassic World” installment — but if you’re fiending for giant reptiles gone wild, here’s a fun tale from the summer.

While residents of Alexandria, Virginia, are used to seeing wildlife like deer, raccoons and even the occasional fox, they started to freak out when sightings of a prehistoric-looking beast started to become more frequent in May and June.

It turns out a 65-pound alligator snapping turtle (yes, that’s a thing) was inexplicably roaming the streets of the Washington, DC, suburb.

The Fairfax County Police reported that it started to get calls about the terrifying (albeit slow) creature and alerted animal control.

“Our Animal Protection Police (APP) received a call about a large turtle that was repeatedly crossing the road in a residential area of Alexandria,” the Fairfax County Police Department wrote in a June 15 Facebook post alongside pictures of the menacing-looking turtle. “Much to their surprise, it was a 65-pound alligator snapping turtle!”

Aside from its scary appearance, animal control was surprised to see the turtle — because it’s not native to the area.

“The ‘common’ snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) is the species native to Virginia, while the alligator snapping turtle is native to river drainages that flow in the Gulf of Mexico, east to Georgia and the panhandle of Florida, and westward to East Texas,” the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries wrote on in a June 11 Facebook post.

Instead, they believe it was a captive-bred turtle that was released into the wild.

The APP safely captured the large animal and transported it to the Fairfax County Animal Shelter before the county’s Wildlife Management Specialist arranged to transfer the turtle to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

There, they named him Lord Fairfax before he found a permanent home at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk. The zoo renamed him Yidaro, per a July post on its website.

Incredibly, Lord Fairfax is still just a baby, per the APP.

“Many species of turtle can live a minimum of 50 years and others more than 100,” they wrote. “At 65 lbs, this one was a youngster, as this species can reach weights exceeding 200 lbs. Our native snapping turtle only reaches a maximum weight of around 50 lbs.”

Residents are happy they no longer have to deal with the animal, while officials are glad he found a safe home as he was unlikely to make it through the colder months on the streets.

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