IT has now been one week since Fluffy, the alligator snapping turtle, was fished out of the shallow waters of Urswick Tarn in a shopping basket by a parish councillor.

He had no idea that in just one week's time, he'd be on morning television, in international newspapers and sparking a debate about exotic pet ownership.

It was his local newspaper that first discovered the creature with 'a jaw that can close with the force of hundreds of newtons'.

Reporter Dan Pye interviewed parish councillor Denise Chamberlain who first identified that he may be a pet that has been dumped by an irresponsible exotic pet owner.

The Westmorland Gazette: The alligator snapping turtle was found in Urswick TarnThis view has been seconded by experts including Barrow's Wild Side Vets, where the turtle was taken to.

International animal rights charity World Animal Protection has since called for a 're-evaluation of the acceptability of keeping wild species as pets'.

The creature was the first of its kind to visit the Barrow vets with doctors naming him Fluffy - a reference to the large three-headed dog in the Harry Potter book series.

Since that moment Fluffy's image has appeared has gone viral.

He was first picked up by the UK's major national press sites including the Daily Mail, BBC News, ITV and The Guardian before appearing on Good Morning Britain (GMB) alongside Barrow vets Kate Hornby and Dominic Moule.

Fluffy has also gone international with his story appearing on news outlets as far as the US's New York Post and Australia's Broadcasting Corporation.

He's been described as a 'tough pet', a prehistoric little dinosaur and having a primitive-looking face.

The Westmorland Gazette: Fluffy's news coverage has spread as far as AustraliaHis appearance, combined with the location of his discovery, is what as warranted such international attention.

The alligator snapping turtle is named as such because he can cut through bone and belongs in swamps and rivers in southern parts of the US.

The unusual location of such a carnivorous species in South Cumbria means that it's not only been detrimental to him but he's also been a danger to other wildlife in the tarn and potentially passers by.

The Westmorland Gazette: Fluffy the alligator snapping turtleIf hadn't been for the actions of councillor Chamberlain and the local community, the snapping turtle may still be in entirely the wrong ecology.

Fluffy is now off to a specialist reptile rehabilitation centre where he can be away from the limelight and get much needed source of UV light and warm water temperatures in excess of 20C.