ARLINGTON, Va. — A man visiting from Boston saw something completely unexpected while riding a Blue Line Metro train Wednesday night. You may have heard of snakes on a plane, but what about turtle on a train?
Rithvik Doshi was headed to Largo from Arlington around 7:30 p.m. when he said the turtle popped out from under one of the seats. He was understandably stunned by the wildlife hitching a ride on the train.
"I just stared with my jaw dropped for a good five seconds and watched while it crawled under another row of seats," Doshi said.
He pulled out his phone and took a video of the turtle traveler, just to make sure his eyes weren't deceiving him.
After picking his jaw up off the floor, he spotted the Metro Transit Police hotline to report the shelled commuter.
"The person on the other side legitimately texted back, 'unattended turtle???' which I don't entirely blame them for because it doesn't happen every day," Doshi said.
Eventually he was able to convince authorities that he was being serious. Officers were alerted, and Doshi called the Humane Rescue Alliance to let them know about the turtle as well. Doshi said the turtle did not appear hurt or in distress.
A spokesperson for the Humane Rescue Alliance told WUSA9 that they picked up the turtle from the Metro, and it was eventually transported to DC City Wildlife.
City Wildlife was created to address the need for wildlife rescue and rehabilitation in Washington, D.C. Over the past several decades, urban development has reduced local wildlife habitat and wild animals have had to adapt to living in close proximity with people. Each year, hundreds of wild animals in D.C. are unintentionally harmed by people and the urban environment.
Doshi said he's used to seeing weird things on public transit in his hometown, but this was on another level.
"I've never encountered anything so farfetched," Doshi said. "This was just the weirdest thing ever."
It is not yet clear how the turtle ended up on the Metro in the first place. Doshi posted his photo of the turtle on Reddit, where commenters joked that he was in a race with a hare. Or that he was on his way to grab a slice of pizza.
A City Wildlife spokesperson confirmed with WUSA9 that the turtle is safe in their care, and that they are taking collections to get the traveling turtle a Metro card.