An angler fishing for carp at a reservoir in the West Midlands got the shock of his life when he landed a giant North American turtle.
The 25kg alligator snapping turtle, which is around two feet long, was snared by Steve Bellion, 23, at Earlswood Lakes, near Solihull.
It is believed the animal, thought to around 80 years old, has been biting through anglers' lines and preying on local wildlife for around a decade. The reptile, previously mistaken for an alligator, has escaped after being caught by anglers on previous occasions.
The creature, which has been rehomed at West Midland Safari Park, in Bewdley, Worcestershire, is thought to have been a pet which was dumped after becoming too big.
British Waterways said the turtle was caught in Earlswood's Engine Pool, where Mr Bellion fishes regularly.
British Waterways ecologists transported the turtle to West Midland Safari Park after its capture, where it will remain permanently alongside another member of the same breed.
The alligator snapping turtle, North America's largest freshwater turtle, can weigh over 80kg and live to 160 years old.
British Waterways ecologist Paul Wilkinson said: "Although it is a shame that we are taking this special animal out of the wild, it is necessary to protect the natural balance and she should settle down nicely with the experts at the West Midland Safari Park.
"Steve has done a good job in landing the turtle and luckily had the knowledge of how to deal with such a large animal safely. It is not only illegal to release non-native species into the wild of the UK, there is also no need to do it - there are organisations that can help rehome unwanted reptiles."
Bob Lawrence, director of wildlife at West Midland Safari Park, said: "Thankfully alligator snapping turtles are a rarity in British waters - they can create havoc for native species.
"It's great the turtle now has a safe home. She appears to be in good health, and as we also have a male of the same species, we will be checking compatibility to ascertain the possibility of mating."