Laura writes in with an unusual wildlife sighting and associated question:

I am a reader of your blog and wondered if you or your readers have any advice they could offer me regarding an unusual thing I saw today. We went for a walk this morning along a stretch of (non-navigable) canal not far from our home in Nottingham. We saw the usual wildlife we often see along there – ducks, swans, coots and moorhens – but we also saw a turtle in the water. It swam up to the surface, where we saw it for a few seconds, and then it swam back down in the water and out of sight. We assume that it was perhaps once someone's pet and that they decided they no longer wanted to keep it, perhaps releasing it into the water. I have no idea how long it's been living there, or if it's in good shape. What I'm wondering is if I should report it to anyone – the local council, the RSPCA, the local Wildlife Trust? It's probably not the best place for a turtle to be living, and equally the other native species may not benefit from its presence. Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated!

Actually Laura, sightings such as this seem to be surprisingly common. A Red-eared terrapin was found in my local nature reserve a couple of years back and this was swiftly whisked away by the RSPCA. However in that case it was easily caught by the reserve wardens just after being sighted, whereas your example could be anywhere in the canal!

I suspect that it's perfectly healthy and happy apart from a lack of company. That said, maybe it does have company as Googling for "turtles in British rivers" throws up a number of stories of turtles living for decades in British waterways. Apparently lots were discarded after the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle craze in the early 90s. Given that, the RSPCA might well just have to shrug their collective shoulders and explain the same tale to you, but it's as well to mention it to the local wildlife trust to ensure they're aware of their presence.

Apparently it's too cold in this country for them to breed successfully by the way, so the turtles people see in the wild in the UK are almost certainly those that have been dumped and lived on for years.

And finally (in the style of Trevor McDonald) Laura also mentions that she's seen Housemartins for the first time this year. And I don't think she was talking about a reunion gig.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

1 Comment

  1. Thanks so much for this information. I’ll be keeping an eye out for more turtles now!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *