Small Pets Found Cooked in Campfire in Denali

Rangers and Petco investigating

Rodents and a snake purchased from a pet store were cooked and eaten; a red-eared slider turtle survived.     Photo: Jim, the Photographer/Flickr

An employee of Alaska's Denali National Park was on his way to the landslide on Park Road when he took a detour to investigate a pile of trash at about mile 7.

He discovered the site of a modern Neanderthalian feast: the charred remains of a partially-eaten rodent, a crushed mouse, the head of a baby python, and a turtle nearly frozen to death—along with receipts from a Petco in Fairbanks, Alaska.

"That's when things took a turn for us to be realizing that someone had gone on a pet-shopping spree at a box store and came to the park and started to consume them," geologist Denny Capps told Anchorage Daily News.

“There was evidence that a visitor had a small campfire,” said park spokeswoman Maureen Gualtieri. “[Park rangers] found a few boxes from Petco and found that multiple small pets had been cooked in that campfire.”

The National Park Service is working with Petco to identify the person who bought the pets, but Gualtieri says they have yet to pick up a lead.

As for the turtle, a red-eared slider, park rangers were able to warm it up, and it now lives with a family in Healy, Alaska, who named it Lucky.

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