A 53-pound alligator snapping turtle was recently rescued from a drainage pipe in Texas and is currently recovering at a wildlife rehabilitation center.
The animal — considered a threatened species in Texas — was discovered in a storm pipe in Hockley, a town 35 miles north of Houston. A resident was out exploring when he spotted the turtle trapped behind a blocked drainage pipe.
The Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and Rosehill Fire Department were dispatched to rescue the creature. Crews used the Jaws of Life to open the pipe wide enough for the animal to exit.
According to ABC13, The big bugger is currently recovering at the Houston SPCA’s Wildlife Center of Texas, which is also treating one other alligator snapping turtle. Both animals are expected to return to the wild after they recover.
Alligator snapping turtles are native to Texas, and the Southeastern United States. Their burly shells and angular features make them look like mini-dinosaurs. The species is on the decline due to over-harvesting by humans.