Where’s Splinter when you need him? The terrapins may have been delighting visitors to Stoke Newington’s Clissold Park for years, but the Environment Agency’s (EA) patience has finally snapped, and they’re now being captured and taken away.
The reptiles — which are not native to the UK — are “voracious” predators which carry diseases such as salmonella, which can spread to humans and pets, according to Hackney Council [PDF]. The authority is helping the EA remove the ‘terror-pins’.
“They impact upon native aquatic life, including amphibians, invertebrates, fish and possibly even young waterfowl,” the council says.
“Environment Agency Officers will use humane floating traps to remove the terrapins safely, alive and unharmed from the ponds. The terrapins will then be cared for at a terrapin rescue centre until they are adopted and a loving new home found for each of them.”
It is thought they were introduced to the park by someone who owned them as a pet, but no longer wanted them and released them into the waters.
Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 it is an offence to release non-native animals into the wild.
And the terrapins are not the only unusual animals on the loose in London, as we discovered.