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53-pound snapping turtle saved from pipe

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HOUSTON (AP) — A 53-pound snapping turtle is recovering at a Houston wildlife rehabilitation center after fire-rescue crews saved it from a drainage pipe.

The Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says the specimen, one of a threatened species known as alligator snapping turtles, was found wedged Tuesday in the pipe in a new residential development near Hockley, about 35 miles northwest of Houston.

Fire-rescue crews used a spreader to open the pipe enough to remove the turtle, which had struggled to keep its head above water. Several drowned alligator snapping turtles flowed from the newly unblocked pipe.

The SPCA said it also is rehabilitating one other alligator snapping turtle, which had an embedded fish hook and other serious wounds. Both will be returned to the wild after recovering.