After discovering a dangerous snapping turtle in a river by an Asda, a dad took the creature home for a bath.

The aggressive reptile, over half a metre long, was found in the riverside by Asda in Burton-upon-Trent in Staffordshire despite being a native to North America.

The animal usually preys on birds, fish and amphibians and can harm humans, but one passing dad, walking his children near the River Trent, took it home and put it in his bath last Sunday.

RSPCA officers were left shell-shocked after being called out to collect the feisty turtle.

Karen Brannan, an animal rescue officer, was sent out to the home to collect the creature, which measured 51cm by 37cm, and weighed 4kg and she named Hagar.

It is thought the turtle made a quick escape from when it was once a pet or had been abandoned.

A dangerous snapping turtle was found in the river by Asda and taken home and put in a bathtub (

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RSPCA / SWNS)

Karen believed it had been living in the area for quite some time because of the amount of algae on its shell.

She said: "He was a really big and aggressive turtle so I called him Hagar.

"I had to handle him very carefully as he was very angry and obviously this species has quite a bite as well as a very mobile head and neck.

"It is a real concern if someone has discarded a pet like rubbish when there are animal welfare charities and organisations which would offer help.

"An animal like this could have been a real danger to other animals and people as they are capable of such a strong bite.”

She was also keen to find out the origins of Hagar and track down where he came from.

Hagar was re-homed in the National Turtle Sanctuary at the Lincolnshire Wildlife Park.

Karen added: "I am just so grateful to the turtle sanctuary for taking on Hagar as an animal like that is not easy to find a suitable home for.

"They believe he's approximately 12-years-old but they are capable of living to around 100 years - so I expect he has a long and happy life to now look forward to."

Zoo manager Andy Ferguson said Hagar had settled well into his new home of a seven metre pool, but was definitely one of the angrier turtles they had at the sanctuary.

He said: "Unfortunately we have come across cases like this before where they have been found in rivers.

Andy Ferguson and Hagar (

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RSPCA / SWNS)

"They are not ideal pets and have very specific needs."

It is illegal, under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, to release non-native species, such as snapping turtles, into the wild.

Added to that, snapping turtles can be extremely dangerous pets if handled incorrectly by inexperienced keepers.

RSPCA scientific officer for exotics, Evie Button, added: "Snapping turtles have extremely powerful jaws and should never be handled by an inexperienced person.

"So we would urge anyone who finds one not to approach it themselves but instead to contact the RSPCA or a local reptile expert who can help."

Anyone with information on where Hagar came from is asked to call the RSPCA appeals line on 0300 123 8018.

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