A crocodile tortoise has been found in a Cumbrian tarn
An invasive crocodile tortoise has been pulled from a Cumbrian tarn.
The strange creature, which lives in swamps and rivers in southern parts of the US, was found by a dog walker at Orswick Tarn, near Ulverston, on Monday.
Parish Councilor Denise Chamberlain pulled him out of the water with a shopping basket and took him to a vet.
Dr Dominic Moll said the turtle, which he named Fluffy, gave a “bad bite” and would likely have eaten everything if he had not been rescued.
Chamberlain, who lived in Florida, saw a post on social media about the turtle and “instantly recognized” its species.
“I think someone bought it and didn’t realize what it was, it got so big that they couldn’t take care of it or they couldn’t afford to feed it,” she said.
Although it is not illegal to own alligator tortoises, veterinarians do not recommend keeping them as pets due to their complex needs.
Three pairs of gloves
Mrs Chamberlain went to retrieve the turtle with the help of residents.
“I was worried on two levels,” she said.
“Actually, someone would pick it up without me losing a finger, but also, what was I going to do with it?”
She put on three pairs of construction gloves and used a shopping basket to remove the turtle, transferring it to a large container of water from the enclosure.
“Everyone rallied to help,” she explained.
Dr Mole, a veterinary surgeon from Wild Side Vets in Barrow-in-Furness, described the discovery as “very surprising”.
“At that size, it can give you a nasty bite, but when it gets bigger, it can grow to up to 80kg (12) and can cause some damage,” he said.
He added that the reptiles would be “more dangerous to the environment because they eat almost anything.”
“I’m sure if it was left there it would be invasive and eat everything in the water,” Dr. Molly continued.
The turtle is cared for by the veterinary center before being returned to the zoo or sent to a private keeper.
(Tags for translation)Alligator Tortoise