An invasive alligator tortoise native to Florida has been rescued from a lake in England
The number of alligator tortoises is declining due to habitat degradation and over-harvesting of their meat.
Wild Side Vets
There was nothing “fluffy” about this creature caught from a small English lake.
An invasive alligator tortoise — a creature native to Florida and known for its mean bite — was discovered in the northwestern U.K. county of Cumbria, where a local official captured it with a shopping basket, the BBC reports.
The creature was spotted by a dog walker.
Parish Councilor Denise Chamberlain wore three pairs of layered gloves during her rescue, and told the outlet she had two concerns.
“Someone was actually picking it up without losing their finger,” she said. “But also, what was I going to do with it?”
It was transported in a large container with water from the lake.
The turtle is being cared for by a veterinary center, where a veterinarian named him Fluffy, and he will be transferred to the zoo or a private guard.
“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 told the outlet.
Carnivorous creatures have complex needs, voracious appetites and a vicious bite that can pierce bones. They can grow to nearly 200 pounds.
Dinosaur-like turtles have spiky shells and primitive-looking faces, and are also found in South and Central America.
Alligator tortoise populations are declining due to habitat degradation and overharvesting of their meat, according to the National Wildlife Federation.
It is not endangered, but some states have banned collecting it from the wild.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department previously rewarded up to $1,000 to people who reported poaching of threatened species, The Post reported.