Local folks out for Sunday stroll were alarmed when they saw what they thought was a giant sea turtle at the bottom of the Colonial Lake.
But it turns out it was just "a garden-variety concrete garden turtle," said Jerry Ebeling, the city of Charleston's director of parks.
"It drew quite a crowd," he said, "and some people thought it was dead." So the city on Monday pulled it out of the water with a backhoe and a strap.
It weighs about 200 pounds, he said.
Michael Master, chairman of the Colonial Common Commission, said some neighbors notified him about the turtle. He, in turn, reached out to Ebeling.
The commission is a group established in 1881 to look after the downtown lake and the nearby grounds between the lake and the Ashley River.
The turtle appeared dead, and it "had to be removed because of that perception," Master said. "We were just relieved it wasn't real."
Master said the lake is very clean, and if the turtle had been real it would have been fine.
Ebeling said he has the concrete turtle at the Parks Department. If anybody wants to claim it, he can be reached at 724-7417.
Reach Diane Knich at 843-937-5491 or on Twitter at @dianeknich.