An Ontario man faces several charges after a routine traffic stop by police, who uncovered a snapping turtle in his trunk.

The man was pulled over on Tuesday night in Brantford, Ont., because his licence plates were not registered to his vehicle, according to police. 

He was arrested and then told officers there was a nine-kilogram snapping turtle in the trunk. He asked if they would release it into the nearby Grand River. 

Police say the car was towed to the river prior to being impounded, and the turtle was released without incident. 

The man faces charges that include driving while disqualified, driving while under suspension, and using plates not authorized for the vehicle.

With files from Canadian Press