By Ian Dipple 17/08 Updated: 17/08 12:08
THIS picture offers a rare glimpse of some shell-dom seen Redditch residents.
Amateur photographer Barry Godwin snapped these terrapins enjoying the sunshine at Ipsley Pool.
“Hardly what you would expect to see in Redditch!” he said.
Although not native to this country they were widely imported during the late 1980s and early 1990s when children’s animated adventure series The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was popular.
It is believed these particular terrapins were among the many released into the wild after the craze subsided and people realised they were not easy pets to care for as they are delicate creatures which require a lot of attention.
They are quite shy, wary of humans and stay mostly in the water and generally only come out on the land to lay eggs and bask in the sun, which is why they are rarely seen.
However they can also cause problems for local wildlife, eating native species such as fish, newts, toads and frogspawn and in some areas are being rounded up and rehomed elsewhere.
But John Godwin, Redditch Borough Council’s head of leisure and cultural services, said they had not noticed any problems.
“There are populations of terrapins all across Britain and we’ve been monitoring a few of them at both Forge Mill and Ipsley Pool for many, many years,” he said.
“They live for 25 years or so, some for much longer, they grow up to a foot long and are efficient predators that are very wary of people.
“They look after themselves and we will continue to monitor them to ensure they do not become a problem, but at this stage we are satisfied.
“Britain is usually too cold for them to reproduce, so they tend to get left alone unless they are causing a problem.
“Like a lot of wildlife they seem to have enjoyed Redditch’s healthy and diverse waterways over the years.
“They can sometimes be seen coming out and basking in the sun, like in this case.”
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