Video: Grundisburgh couple’s unwelcome visit from ferocious turtle

A SUFFOLK couple made an unusual discovery when an ill-tempered reptile arrived in their garden.

The snapping turtle was spotted in Grundisburgh, near Woodbridge, by Margaret Finch, who at first thought it was a tortoise.

Husband, Stephen, investigated closer and decided the visitor was more ferocious in nature. He said: “This certainly did not look like an ordinary tortoise and looked almost prehistoric, so I went over to investigate and it was huge with long claws and a beak-like jaw and not very friendly at all.”

Despite the snapping turtle’s demeanour, Mr Finch managed grab it from behind and place it in a plastic tub and then into a tin bath ready for the RSPCA to collect.

Mr Finch added: “I knew it had to be put somewhere as it was very aggressive and I was worried what it might do if it was on the loose.”

The common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentine) is native to North America and preys on other animals including fish, birds and amphibians, but also eats aquatic vegetation.

It has a powerful beak-like jaw and a highly mobile head and neck, and can cause significant injuries if handled by an inexperienced person.

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The turtle was collected by RSPCA inspector Jason Finch, who said: “This snapping turtle had a go at me a few times when I tried to remove it and they really can do a lot of damage if they snap at you.

“We think it has probably been owned at some point and has either escaped or irresponsibly been released in to the wild. We think it may have been living in the nearby Water Meadows, but could have got flushed out of there by the recent heavy rainfall.

“We are appealing for information from anyone who may know why this turtle was found on the loose. It is now being cared for by an expert who is used to dealing with them.”

Anyone with information regarding the turtle is asked to call the RSPCA inspector appeal line on 0300 123 8018.

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