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Chonkosauraus the Snapping Turtle Make Debut On Once Toxic Chicago River

Chonkosaurus was sunning itself on some rusty chains on the river.

The Chicago River was once a highly polluted waterway with high levels of PCBs and mercury contamination due in large part to industry that used the river to move raw materials and goods.

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A video of a very large common snapping turtle that has been living in the Chicago River has gone viral over the last week as folks realized that cleaning up the once toxic river has positive benefits to the local flora and fauna.
The clip, shot by Chicago native Joey Santore and posted to Twitter, shows the turtle thermoregulating on top of what are some rust chains atop the river surface.

“Great to see this beast thriving here on what was once such a toxic river, but is slowly getting cleaned up & restored,” he continued. “Somebody planted a bunch of native plants up the river from here, too. I can only wonder [what] this thing’s been eating.”

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Oh my god. That’s a massive turtle is it a snapper, he’s a snapper.” Look at that beast, how you doing guy you look good, I’m really proud of you, you’ve been eating healthy.”

Santore’s kayak partner, Al Scorch said, “This is a Chicago River snapper are you “blanking” kidding me.”

“The river’s recently been cleaned up recently,” Santore said in his Youtube video, Chicago River Biological Survey & Floristic Inventory Nice starring Chonkosaurus “This was a fetid body of water all but 10 or 15 years ago. . .and it still kind of is, but the fish diversity is increasing and the beavers are back which I didn’t expect to see.”


Common Snapping Turtle

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The Chicago River was once a highly polluted waterway with high levels of PCBs and mercury contamination due in large part to industry that used the river to move raw materials and goods. Efforts have been underway for decades to restore it, and finding animals such as beavers and Chonkosauraus are positive signs that the river is getting cleaner.

snapping turtle

The common snapping turtle is found throughout much of the United States. Sebartz/Shutterstock

Common Snapping Turtle Information

The common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) has a range that extends from the East Coast down to Florida, portions of Texas and Louisiana, throughout much of the North and Midwest and into the Eastern portions of Utah and Idaho. The males are larger than females and can exceed more than 20 lbs in weight. The heaviest wild specimen is reported to have weighed 75 lbs.