California – In a shocking twist of events, Carlos Rubio had to rub his eyes to confirm his peculiar discovery in Lake Ralphine, nestled within scenic Howarth Park.
“I initially mistook it for a drifting boulder,” recounted Rubio in a conversation with KGO.
As he shared a riveting video on Reddit, it revealed what looked like a large, mobile stone submerged in the waterbody of Santa Rosa’s park.
Rubio soon recognized the reality of this odd phenomenon. “It dawned on me, it was a gigantic snapping turtle, the size of a car’s spare tire,” he informed KGO.
Wildlife specialists from The Press Democrat informed that snapping turtles are not endemic to California, and it’s illegal to possess one without official authorization.
“Regrettably, people acquire these creatures as infants, disregarding the law,” lamented Wendy Rozonewski of JNW Animal Rescue, Vallejo. “As these turtles age and grow, becoming increasingly belligerent, their owners often release them into the wild. While the turtles might thrive, they pose a significant threat to our native species.”
A large snapping turtle spotted lurking in Lake Ralphine at Santa Rosa’s Howarth Memorial Park is now being investigated by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. https://t.co/uEQYHcZBjW
— SFGATE (@SFGate) May 22, 2024
The alligator snapping turtle, often described as “dinosaur-like,” can grow up to a staggering 175 pounds, as stated by the National Wildlife Federation.
“They have no dietary restrictions – they’d eat absolutely anything. Get too close, and it won’t hesitate to bite,” Rozonewski warned in her conversation with KGO.
Greg Martinelli, a program manager at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Bay Delta Region, spoke to The Press Democrat, describing the turtles as “voracious and omnivorous.” He narrated chilling accounts of these creatures snapping off bird legs floating on the water surface.
Presently, an investigation is underway by the agency, alongside Santa Rosa parks officials.
Situated approximately 55 miles north of San Francisco, Santa Rosa is a bustling city housing over 177,000 residents.