Monday May 23rd is World Turtle Day, first declared in 2000 by American Tortoise Rescue. And for the occasion we've got someone who is obviously VERY happy with his ugly turtle.
Pictured is Japanese biologist Munetaka Nakagawa and the enormous soft-shelled turtle that he recently found in a river in Kyoto. It's thought to be over 50 years old and probably the largest of its species in Japan, at 38.5 centimeters long and a weight of 7.3 kg.
Not only is that guy smiling, apparently Japanese culture in general puts a more positive spin on this ugly animal than you might expect:
Soft-shelled turtles are traditionally associated with nourishment and strength. For that reason, Nakagawa suggested, "It may have appeared to send us a message, 'Cheer up, Japan!'"
And I'm sure it will cheer everyone up to see this excellent close-up profile shot of an Asian softshell (courtesy of Wikipedia):
Slow and steadily,
- Wombat (No Relation)