Fisherman baffled by mystery catch

mystery_catch_rexA fisherman in China was surprised to catch a mystery creature which looked like a cross between a dinosaur and a turtle.

Sun Yongcheng’s catch, in Weishan Lake, Anhui province, was later identified as an alligator snapping turtle, which is not native to the country.

The species is only native to North America and was probably someone’s pet before being dumped in the lake, the local fishing department said.??The creature’s alien status meant that it could have posed a danger to the local ecological system, they added.

Sun said he was surprised when he netted the alligator turtle, which measures 76cm long and 30cm wide and weighs 7kg.

He said: “I suddenly noticed a black thing was hooked on the net, which scared me. It was struggling and biting the net when I pulled it up.”

The spokesman for the Jining Fishing Bureau said this was the first time an alligator snapping turtle had been found in the local water system.

He said: “Somebody may have dumped their pet into the lake, which could greatly endanger the local ecology.”

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