Villagers Shocked As Prehistoric Creature Stalks Across Beach
You know him from Mario Kart. You know him from Super Mario Galaxy. Now, you know him from Russia. Well, kinda. The alligator snapping turtle, an inspiration for the Nintendo character Bowser, made a splash in Russian news after a brief encounter with some human beachgoers.
"Bowser Turtle" gains fame
A video of the riverside encounter shows that the turtle was chewing on some branches and keeping to himself until some rude people came along.
The turtle was minding his own business but appeared agitated when the people began picking him up and pushing him.
Eventually, the turtle decided to take the high road and leave.
The strange part is that the species is not common in Russia. In fact, National Geographic lists only one continent where the turtles inhabit natively: North America.
Why was this "Bowser" turtle so far from home?
An article on the Huffington Post speculated that the animal could have been abandoned by an owner who didn't expect the turtle to grow so large. The article also noted the possibility that "the Chinese are breeding alligator snapping turtles for eggs and meat on the other side of the river."
This turtle must have been struggling to care for himself in a land where no other alligator snapping turtles live in the wild.
Though there are no new updates on the animal, we can assume the past week has been a challenge. New to his surroundings and the only one of his species in the area, this turtle will continue to struggle as the result of human neglect.
Conservation efforts in the U.S.
The alligator snapping turtle is the focus of conservation efforts at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. If you want to read more about the status of these turtles, check out the National Wildlife Federation.