“Chonkosaurus”, the gigantic Chicago tortoise that went viral

A turtle resting in a canal in Chicago

Fat woman pictures Tortoise biting Relaxation spread along the Chicago Canal after the man who photographed the well-fed reptile marveled at its size and dubbed it “Chonkosaurus”.

Joey Santore was kayaking with a friend along the Chicago River last weekend when they spotted the Snapping Turtle perched on a large chain covering what appeared to be rotting logs.

He posted a video of the turtle on Twitter, and tagged it as “Chicago River Snapper, Also Known As Chonkosaurus”.

In the video, Santore can be heard marveling at the size of the turtle, which shows folds of flesh that have extended beyond its shell.

“Look at this guy. We have a picture of this beautiful sight. Look at the size of this thing,” he says, using an expletive. “Look at that beast. Hello, how are you, boy? You look good. You are healthy.”

A snapping turtle relaxes on the banks of the Chicago River. (Joey Santore via AP)

Chris AnchorThe snapping turtle photographed by Santoor is very rare, considering its apparent size, said the chief wildlife biologist at Forest Preserves in Cook County. It was also unusual to see the reptile basking along rivers, he said, but it was likely that it had just emerged from hibernation.

“So I think this animal crawled out of the river trying to collect as much heat as possible from the sunlight,” Anchor told WMAQ-TV.

While it’s difficult to determine the exact size of the turtle from the video alone, Anchor gave it its name “A very large individual.” He noted that muscle turtles are not picky eaters.

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“Turtles this size will consume anything they can move with their mouths,” he said, adding that anyone who encounters a precocial turtle should not disturb it or try to catch it.

“Enjoy it. Leave him alone,” Ankur said.

(with information from the AP)

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