Mac the Great Snapping Turtle Dies in Florida’s Sunken Gardens | Florida News

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Mac, an alligator snapping turtle who has lived in a Florida botanical garden for more than 50 years, has died.

The turtle died unexpectedly on Monday, according to Dave Biggs, supervisor of Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg.

“The Sunken Gardens family, and in particular the members of the animal care team, are deeply shocked and saddened by this unexpected loss,” Biggs said in a press release. “Mac showed no signs of injury, illness or distress until she died.”

An autopsy will determine the cause of Mac’s death, Biggs said. It is run by a team of vets at Sunken Gardens.

No one knows Mac’s exact age, but Biggs said the tortoise arrived in St. Petersburg in the 1960s. Mac was popular with guests who often referred to him as the giant tortoise, Biggs said.

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The turtle was recently featured in a children’s book, “Sophie and Zack at Sunken Gardens” by Robin Robson Gonzalez and funded by the Sunken Gardens Forever Foundation.

“Mac was an important part of Sunken Gardens and a special turtle,” Biggs said.

Sunken Gardens is 100 years old and is home to some of the area’s oldest tropical plants, as well as waterfalls and a flock of flamingos.

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