Enormous 100-Year-Old Snapping Turtle Disappears Without a Trace Along North Carolina Interstate

Credits: AL.com

A 100-year-old alligator snapping turtle named Thanos has gone missing while travelling with its owner along an interstate in North Carolina.

Thanos, a bright yellow turtle measuring 38 inches and weighing between 140 to 180 pounds, was en route to the Durham Reptile Expo with its owner, Dan Hemby, when the disappearance occurred. The duo was traveling down Interstate 40 in Durham when Hemby noticed something amiss.

Giant Snapping Turtle (Credits: Newsweek)

“We weren’t even maybe 30 minutes away from the convention centre, and we get there … first thing I see is all three straps were popped open and moved to the side and the grates were moved over,” Hemby recounted to ABC11.

Hemby, who was journeying from Jacksonville to the expo convention centre, suspects that Thanos might have vanished at a rest stop just outside Benson, where he last checked on the turtle.

Despite being securely contained, Hemby found Thanos’ restraints undone, ruling out the possibility of the turtle freeing itself. He expressed bewilderment, stating, “It’s almost like losing a piece of myself, to be honest with you.”

Giant Snapping Turtle (Credits: ABC News)

Conducting a search for blood marks on the highway, Hemby found none, indicating that if Thanos fell, he would likely have sustained injuries. Hemby speculated that Thanos, if he had escaped, would instinctively head for water.

Appealing for assistance, Hemby urged people to be cautious and refrain from handling Thanos if spotted. He emphasized the turtle’s inability to venture far from water and implored anyone who might have taken Thanos to ensure his safe return.

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