A student arrived back at his dormitory in Wuhan after eight months following lockdown to find his beloved turtle turned to dust and bone on the balcony.
Lin Buxiu, 22, left his dormitory in the central Chinese province of Hubei to visit his home city of Taiyuan in the northern Shanxi Province for a winter holiday on January 12.
But soon after the city ended up on full lockdown and he was only able to return months later, by which time his alligator snapping turtle had starved to death and turned to bone.
Mr Lin told Asia Wire: “I only planned to be gone for about a month, so I left him enough food and water to last a few weeks.
“Who knew the pandemic would mean I couldn’t return for eight months.
“When I finally returned to my dorm room on campus I found my turtle dead and bone dry on the balcony on August 31.”
The student shared his horrific discovery on Douyin – the original Chinese version of TikTok – where he posts under the username ‘Tricking1998’.
His video shows his dead turtle having become nothing more than a dry skeleton.
Mr Lin, who is a third-year student at Wuhan University of Science and Technology, revealed he had purchased the adult alligator snapping turtle off e-commerce website Taobao in 2019.
He added: “I had only had it for about five months before I left it during the winter break.
“I’m keeping its bones on my bookshelf, but I’ll buy a glass container to display it.
“I don’t think I’m going to get another pet turtle while I’m still at university.”
Wuhan, where Covid-19 is believed to have originated, was put on full lockdown by the Chinese government on January 23.
The strict travel restrictions would not be lifted for 76 days until April 8, but even then many university students were asked to continue to stay at home for the sake of public health.
Mr Lin said he was, fortunately, able to partake in online lessons, successfully keeping pace with his course curriculum without falling behind.