All hail Lord Fairfax.
Fairfax County Police tweeted Monday that they found a 30-kilogram alligator snapping turtle near a pond in a residential area of Alexandria, Virginia — a suburb of Washington.
The majestic creature was eventually named “Lord Fairfax.”
According to local police, its animal control division got a call about “a large turtle” attempting to collect taxes from peasants. “Much to their surprise,” they found the massive baby dinosaur instead.
Officials at the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries said in a Facebook post last week that because the turtle is not native to the area, it was likely raised in captivity and was released into “the wild by well-meaning pet owners.” Alligator snapping turtles can be found in river drainages that flow into the Gulf of Mexico and have been spotted in the Florida panhandle, Georgia and East Texas.
Local authorities emphasised that the turtle was pretty lucky to be found. Due to its domestic upbringing, the reptilian overlord “would have most likely experienced a slow death” due to freezing or starvation. The post also notes that Lord Fairfax has found a new home at The Virginia Zoo, where it will hopefully be able to reign over lesser critters that lack proper British titles.
Once photos of Lord Fairfax’s aristocratic splendour were shared on Twitter, users were quick to pledge their allegiance.
And, although the turtle’s size seems pretty colossal, experts said Lord F. is a “youngster” and could end up weighing 200 pounds.
According to National Geographic, adult, male alligator snapping turtles typically weigh 175 pounds but could tip the scales at 220. And they put on this weight by utilising a truly unique hunting technique.
“Its tongue sports a bright-red, worm-shaped piece of flesh that, when displayed by a motionless turtle on a river bottom, draws curious fish or frogs close enough to be snatched.”