Fairfax County Police tweeted Monday that they found a 65-pound alligator snapping turtle near a pond in a residential area of Alexandria, Virginia â€” a suburb of Washington.
The majestic creature was eventually named â€œLord Fairfax.â€
According to local police, its animal control division got a call about â€œa large turtleâ€ attempting to collect taxes from peasants. â€œMuch to their surprise,â€ they found the massive baby dinosaur instead.Â
Officials at the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries said in a Facebook post last week that because the turtle is not native to the area, it was likely raised in captivity and was released into â€œthe wild by well-meaning pet owners.â€ Alligator snapping turtles can be found in river drainages that flow into the Gulf of Mexico and have been spotted in the Florida panhandle, Georgia and East Texas.
Local authorities emphasized that the turtle was pretty lucky to be found. Due to its domestic upbringing, the reptilian overlord â€œwould have most likely experienced a slow deathâ€ due freezing or starvation. The post also notes that Lord Fairfax has found a new home at The Virginia Zoo, where it will hopefully be able to reign over lesser critters that lack proper British titles.
Once photos of Lord Fairfaxâ€™s aristocratic splendor were shared on Twitter, users were quick to pledge their allegiance.
And, although the turtleâ€™s size seems pretty colossal, experts said Lord F. is a â€œyoungsterâ€ and could end up weighing 200 pounds.Â
According to National Geographic, adult, male alligator snapping turtles typically weigh 175 pounds but could tip the scales at 220.Â And they put on this weight by utilizing a truly unique hunting technique.
â€œIts tongue sports a bright-red, worm-shaped piece of flesh that, when displayed by a motionless turtle on a river bottom, draws curious fish or frogs close enough to be snatched.â€
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