Cumbria

Abandoned pet terrapins attack Lake District wildlife

Abandoned pet terrapins are attacking native wildlife in Cumbrian lakes and rivers, according to wildlife conservationists.

Wetheriggs Zoo and Animal Sanctuary near Penrith, is taking in increasing numbers of the reptiles, which have been seen biting the legs off ducks.

Staff at the animal centre say people often cannot look after the animals when they grow too big for their domestic tanks and then simply dump them into the wild.

The reptiles, some the size of dinner plates, can "easily take a finger off" according to Wetherigg's Terry Bowes.

Several terrapins have been spotted in the wild in Ullswater and a snapping turtle was also discovered in the River Eamont.

Terry Bowes said: "We were called down to one lake, this was the very first one we were called to, where they had problems with their ducks hopping around on one leg.

"When we got there, there were three really really large red-eared terrapins about the size of dinner plates that were just taking the legs off the ducks."

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