LATINA, Italy, Aug. 27 (UPI) — A 2-foot-long snapping turtle, a species on Italy’s endangered list, was found near a national park south of Rome, officials say.
The Italian branch of the Worldwide Fund for Nature said the animal, discovered outside Circeo National Park south of Rome, was probably bought as an exotic pet then abandoned, ANSA reported Friday.
The abandonment of exotic pets is becoming a “growing” problem in Italy, especially during the summer.
Families often leave on vacation throwing animals out of their houses to fend for themselves.
A 3-foot long iguana was found roaming the streets of Rome Monday and a water turtle was discovered staggering around a hot disco parking lot in Porto Recanati, ANSA said.
Other non-indigenous animals previously rescued in Italy include rattlesnakes, an alligator and a python.