Science & Environment

Chicago Snapping Turtle Earns Viral Glory As ‘Chonkosaurus’

CHICAGO (AP) — Footage of a plump snapping turtle enjoyable alongside a Chicago waterway has gone viral after the person who filmed the well-fed reptile marveled at its measurement and nicknamed it “Chonkosaurus.”

Joey Santore was kayaking with a pal alongside the Chicago River final weekend after they noticed the massive snapping turtle sitting atop a big chain draped over what look like rotting logs.

He posted a jumpy video of the turtle on Twitter, labeling it the “Chicago River Snapper aka Chonkosaurus.”

In the video, Santore will be heard sounding shocked by the scale of the turtle, which was displaying folds of flesh extending properly past its shell.

“Look at this guy. We got a picture of this most beautiful sight. Look at the size of that … thing,” he says, utilizing an expletive. “Look at that beast. Hey, how ya doing guy? You look good. You’re healthy.”

Chris Anchor, the chief wildlife biologist with Forest Preserves of Cook County, mentioned the snapping turtle Santore filmed is kind of uncommon, contemplating its obvious measurement. He mentioned it’s additionally uncommon for the reptiles to be seen basking alongside rivers, but it surely in all probability just lately emerged from hibernation.

“So my guess is that this animal had crawled out of the river to try and gather as much heat as it could in the sunshine,” Anchor told WMAQ-TV.

While it’s tough to find out precisely how massive the turtle is from the video alone, Anchor referred to as it “a very large individual.” And he famous that snapping turtles aren’t choosy eaters.

“Turtles this big will consume anything they can get their mouth around,” he mentioned, including that anybody encountering a snapping turtle shouldn’t disturb it or attempt to catch it.

“Enjoy it. Leave it alone,” Anchor mentioned.

This story has been edited to appropriate the identify of Anchor’s district: Forest Preserves of Cook County.

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