MENASHA, Wis. (WFRV) – You don’t see or hear something like this every day; a rare turtle, with a unique story, was recently surrendered to J&R Aquatic Animal Rescue.

On Saturday, J&R Aquatic Animal Rescue shared that a Giant Malaysian Turtle (Orlitia borneoensis), named Francis, was surrendered after his primary caretaker passed away from terminal cancer.

J&R explained that before he was surrendered Francis is said to have lived with an elderly man who had a lot of health issues. Because of these health issues, the man’s wife allegedly assumed the role of primary caretaker over Francis.

Unfortunately, the wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer and reportedly passed away. However, before her passing, it is alleged that she asked that Francis find a new place to live.

Wanting to fulfill her request, her husband and daughter surrendered Francis to J&R Aquatic Animal Rescue.

Francis the turtle

J&R Aquatic Animal Rescue said they will be searching for a proper home for Francis after he is checked over by a vet and deemed fit to travel. 

They hope to place him in an accredited zoo to help protect him and his species as he is listed as being ‘critically endangered’ by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

“Our ultimate goal is to get him placed in a breeding program with an accredited zoo so we can keep his species from going extinct,” shared John Moyles with J&R Aquatic Animal Rescue.

If you have an exotic pet that you can no longer care for or have questions about adopting, you can contact John Moyles of J&R Aquatic Animal Rescue at