25-year-old Justin Broomhall and his family traveled to Cherokee Lake to go fishing and celebrate Father’s Day. He was counting on catching a few catfish and seemed like he would, but suddenly all the fish were gone.

Justin Brumhall told Fox News Digital that he noticed bubbles on the surface of the water. He assumed it was a catfish and began to pull prey out of the water. A surprise appeared on his face when he realized that he had not caught a big fish, but… a turtle. And not just any of them, because eagle scorpion species, the largest freshwater turtle in North America, is also an endangered species and dangerous to humans.

He decided to take the turtle out of the water to remove the hook from its mouth, which might cause infection. He grabbed the animal by the leg and tail, then realized how big and big the turtle was. Brumhall estimates he weighed more than 70kg and could be up to 100 years old: “His eyes were foggy, as if he had started going blind,” Hunter told Fox News Digital. The reptile also had a lot of scars: “It was like the crocodile was trying to bite off a piece of its tail,” the man said, adding that the turtle was also losing a few toes. Turtles of this species weigh an average of 90 kg, the record holder reached a weight of 114 kg. In captivity, these turtles live up to 70 years, so hunter estimates may be overestimated.

When Brumal removed the hook from the animal’s mouth, he released it back into the water. He’s heard a lot about scorpion turtles from his grandfather, but he’s never seen one: “I can’t wait to see him in the next few years. Just to see him in the wild and see how he does,” says the man.

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Source: New York Post, Fox News Digital