A pet turtle has been found dead and left with a bone-dry body after its student owner left the animal in his university dorm in Wuhan due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Lin, a second-year undergraduate at Wuhan University of Science and Technology, kept his alligator snapping turtle in a cage with food and water before heading home for the Chinese New Year in January, according to reports.
The 22-year-old told local media that he had originally planned to return to the campus a month later but the university in the former coronavirus epicentre was forced to remain shut until August.
Lin, a second-year undergraduate at Wuhan University of Science and Technology, kept his alligator snapping turtle in a cage with food and water before heading home in January
Footage shows the dried up carcass of the dead reptile discovered by the Chinese student when he came back to his dorm on Monday evening.
Lin told reporters that he had purchased the turtle online last September and had been keeping it as a pet on the balcony of his student residence.
He left the campus on January 21 to celebrate the Chinese New Year with his family in Taiyuan of northern Chinese province Shanxi.
Before going home, Lin kept his turtle in a cage with water and food.
‘Under the normal circumstance, the food and water left in the container could feed it for over a month,’ the undergraduate told Chutian Metropolis News.
Lin has kept the turtle’s carcass on a bookshelf in his dorm, according to his social media page
The reptile owned by the Chinese university student is said to be an alligator snapping turtle
‘I planned to return to the university around February 20, so the alligator snapping turtle should’ve been alive as planned.’
The city of Wuhan was put under a draconian lockdown on January 23 as the Chinese authorities scrambled to contain the coronavirus from spreading.
The government eased travel restrictions on April 8 but universities in the city had only started to allow students to return to the campus since late August.
Lin has kept the turtle’s carcass on a bookshelf in his dorm, according to his social media page.
‘We will be brothers in another life,’ he wrote.
While some social media users found the video amusing, others were horrified by the incident, slamming the student owner ‘cruel’ and ‘irresponsible’.
One commenter wrote: ‘Why would you keep animals in your dorm? You probably can’t even take care of yourself properly. Animals are also real lives.’
Another one said: ‘This is so cruel. You are not supposed to have pets in the dormitory anyway. You should always be responsible for it no matter what the reason is. You should be ashamed of yourself!’
In June, another Chinese student found his two pet turtles had died and dried out after he left the animals in his dorm for five months due to the coronavirus lockdown.
The pet owner told local media that he thought the lockdown would only last for a short while and the reptiles would survive.