On the 20th of May, two 10 year-old twin brothers were playing along the river bank of Changsha Xiangjiang River – until they noticed that something was floating on the river. Their discovery attracted other small kid that gathered round to see a half-meter long alligator snapping turtle.
This rare green turtle that must be larger than a wash bowl, can be identified by its three large, pronounced ridges running from the front to the back of its very large shell.
Noticing that the turtle was moving slowly, the children tried moving the turtle back to the river, but were having difficulties as it was too heavy. They finally succeeded in doing so after 3pm.
"This big turtle is definitely not local. I have not seen the such big turtle", commented Mr Li, who happened to pass by.
In order to clarify this big turtle’s real identity, a reporter consulted Changsha zoo veterinary hospital Vice-President Hu Xiaoning. Mr Hu looked at the picture and commented that this turtle originates from South America. It has a large built and is famous for getting into fights. This alligator snapping turtle is very rare in China and can be found only in East China, whereas the South China area has only a few that are raised in households. However, Mr Hu is unable to explain why this alligator turtle has appeared in Xiangjiang River, but believes that is highly possible that the turtle was captured and later set free by someone.
More information can be found here.