A 53-pound snapping turtle is recovering at a Houston wildlife rehabilitation center after fire-rescue crews saved it from a drainage pipe.
The Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says the specimen, one of a threatened species known as alligator snapping turtles, was found wedged Tuesday in the pipe in a new residential development near Hockley, about 35 miles northwest of Houston.
Fire-rescue crews used a spreader to open the pipe enough to remove the turtle, which had struggled to keep its head above water.
Several drowned alligator snapping turtles flowed from the newly unblocked pipe.
The SPCA said it also is rehabilitating one other alligator snapping turtle, which had an embedded fish hook and other serious wounds. Both will be returned to the wild after recovering.
According to Daily Mail, the world’s oldest tortoise named Jonathan is already 184 years old.
Earlier in March 2015, the tabloid reported that a vet gave Jonathan his first bath ever, hoping it would extend the land-dwelling reptile’s life span.
Dr Joe Hollins, 58, said he used surgical soap (not caustic), soft brushes and a loofah to gently scrub on the giant tortoise in order not to damage his shell.
The vet said: ‘In the past Jonathan’s keepers had a rather laissez faire attitude to the tortoises on St Helena and so this is probably his first wash in 184 years.
‘We gave him a good scrub as we are expecting a royal visitor who is going to meet him so we want him to look his best.
‘He looks so much cleaner and he seemed to enjoy the whole experience.
‘Jonathan stood like a statue when I was washing him, I don’t know whether that was the vibrations he found soothing or he was thinking “at last, I’ve had my first bath!”