Teenage mutant red-eared terrapins

British Chelonia Group concerned about abandoned terrapins

source:: Sharon Amos
Independent on Sunday Review February 23 2003 p27

The British Chelonia Group is concerned about pet terrapins abandoned in the rivers, ponds, and canals. Thousands of red-eared terrapins were imported from the southern US at the end of the 1980s and start of the 1990s. Abandoned terrapins gradually starve, and can take five years to die. They are unable to breed in the wild in the UK, but they can kill aquatic wildlife.

It is no longer legal to import these terrapins as pets. Unwanted pet terrapins are airlifted to Italy by the British Chelonia Group (BCG), which charges owners 25 pounds sterling for this service. They go to live in the Carapax Sanctuary, Tuscany, The BCG has also devised a trap for terrapins in the wild. It is useful for catching snapper turtles, which can be dangerous, as well as for red-eared terrapins. Snapper turtles can bite off human fingers or hands, but they are not often found as abandoned pets in the UK.