FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WJW) — An animal protection call about a large turtle in a residential neighborhood in Virginia led to the discovery of a 65-pound alligator snapping turtle.
Fairfax County Police shared the story and photos on Twitter Sunday.
According to the tweet, their Animal Protection Police received the call about the turtle in a residential area outside of Alexandria.
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries also posted about the turtle on Facebook. According to the post, the animal 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 turtle was likely a pet that was set free and would probably have experienced a slow death as a result of either freezing or starvation if it had not been found and rescued.
The post says the turtle is a “youngster” of the species, which can exceed 200 pounds.
Native snapping turtles usually only reach a maximum weight of about 50 pounds.
The turtle has since found a home at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk.
“Since this turtle was most likely a captive-bred animal, it can never be released into the wild,” the post says.