SOUTH STRABANE (KDKA) — It was 1965 when a boy in Washington County carved his initials in a turtle’s shell and then let it go.

Now, 47 years later, the turtle is still alive and has been found by the boy’s dad.

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Holland Cokeley, 85, of South Strabane, Washington County, was walking in the woods of his backyard with his neighbor’s dog, Zack.

Zack began poking around at something and Cokeley realized it was a turtle. He didn’t think much of it, until he gave it a closer look.

“I picked it up, and I thought ‘Oh geez, this is Jeff’s turtle!'” said Cokeley. “It’s been here for 47 years, and it still has the same the same markings on it!”

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Jeff was 13-years old in 1965 when he carved “JC” and “1965” on the turtle’s bottom shell and then released it back into the wild.

Jeff Cokeley now lives in New York State, but began laughing when his dad sent him pictures of the turtle.

Experts say under the right conditions in the wild, eastern box turtles can live up to a hundred years.

Holland Cokeley kept it for a couple days and then released it, so it can wander for perhaps many more years.

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David Highfield