Spot giant snapping turtle 'Chonkosaurus' relaxing along Chicago waterways

Sunday, 14/05/2023, 19:41 (GMT+7)

A video of a giant sea turtle relaxing on a Chicago waterway has gone viral. The photographer dubbed it "Chonkosaurus" after marveling at its size.

While kayaking with a friend on the Chicago River last weekend, Joey Santore noticed a massive snapping turtle perched on a large chain. The creature was coated in decaying logs, which seemed to have stuck to its shell. 

Spot giant snapping turtle 'Chonkosaurus' relaxing along Chicago waterways 1
Image: @JoeySantore / Twitter

Posting a video of the turtle on Twitter, he dubbed it as "Chicago River Snapper," also known as "Chonkosaurus. After footage emerged of the animal, a turtle nicknamed 'Chonkosaurus' went viral. This photo, courtesy of Joey Santore, captures the turtle relaxing by the Chicago River. 


Spot giant snapping turtle 'Chonkosaurus' relaxing along Chicago waterways 2
Image: @JoeySantore / Twitter

Chris Anchor, the chief wildlife biologist for the Cook County Forest Conservancy, said the snapping turtle was very rare because it looked so large. It's also unusual for the reptile to be lying by the river, but it may have been a recent emergence after hibernation, he said.

Anchor told WMAQ-TV that he believed the animal crawled out of the river and was trying to soak up as much sun and warmth as possible. 

While it's difficult to determine the exact size of the turtle from the video alone, Anchor called it a "very large individual." He pointed out that tortoises are not picky eaters.

"Turtles that big will eat anything they can stick their mouths out of," he said, adding that anyone who encounters a turtle eating something should not bother or try to grab it.

Watching the video below: