They call him Lord Fairfax: A 65-lb turtle found lumbering through a Virginia neighborhood puzzling the locals
He was out of place for sure. His species – the alligator snapping turtle – isn’t native to the area.
They’re aquatic creatures preferring the rivers further south than in a suburb.
And yet, that’s where authorities found him - near a residential pond in Fairfax County.
No one knows how he got there. But authorities can hazard a guess.
Lord Fairfax was most likely bred in captivity, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries said.
“If you are considering a turtle as a pet, please do your homework first and find out what it takes to provide adequate care for a lifelong commitment,” the department said.
At 65 lbs, Lord Fairfax was a youngster. Fully grown, this species can exceed 200 lbs.
The turtle never would have posed much of a threat to the locals. But he most likely would have died slowly from freezing or starvation, the department said.
But this story has a happy ending.
A biologist picked him up and Lord Fairfax now has a new home at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk.