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Snapping turtle dumped by the side of Dartford road

PUBLISHED: 15:41 17 March 2014 | UPDATED: 15:41 17 March 2014

This common snapping turtle was dumped by a road in Dartford. Picture: Wayne May

This common snapping turtle was dumped by a road in Dartford. Picture: Wayne May

Archant

This turtle might look friendly but he could have your finger off in a heartbeat.

This common snapping turtle was dumped by a road in Dartford. Picture: Wayne MayThis common snapping turtle was dumped by a road in Dartford. Picture: Wayne May

Rescuers believe his nasty bite could be one of the reasons he was dumped by the side of the road in Dartford.

Workers from charity Artisan Rarebreeds were called to pick up the common snapping turtle in Holly Road last week.

They found it starving and cold in a white plastic box.

Director Wayne May said: “We were told it was a ‘dinosaur-looking creature’ so we thought it was some kind of lizard.

“We had to phone the police – it’s not a dangerous animal but it’s not formal for a pet.

“In 10 years it’s the second one we’ve ever had.”

The turtle is now living at the charity’s base in The Brent as it cannot be safely re-homed.

Wayne said: “I would never let it back into a normal home where people don’t know about them.

“It could remove your finger in a heartbeat.”

At 30cm long, it has an extendable flexible neck that can snap up its prey or give anything threatening a sharp bite.

Common snapping turtles are native to North America, where they have been known to inflict serious injuries, and are illegal to keep as pets in some countries.

Artisan Rare Breeds rescues animals across Kent and the south-east and relies on public donations.

Call 07873 350701 for information or email artisanrarebreeds@gmail.com

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