RSPCA Cymru is appealing for information after a terrapin was found in a residential area in Neath.
A member of the public contacted the RSPCA after the terrapin – a yellow bellied slider – was found on a driveway at The Pines, Cilfrew yesterday [16 July].
RSPCA inspector Nic de Celis said: “We are appealing for information to try and track down an owner.
“The terrapin has been taken to an exotics specialist while we try and find out where it has come from. She could have been dumped – or could be owned and managed to escape somehow.
“Sadly, terrapins are often dumped when they become too large or difficult to care for. As they can live a long time this is fairly common.”
Anyone who may have information about this incident should contact the RSPCA inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018. Calls are treated in confidence.
If you would like to help the RSPCA, you can give £3 now by texting HELP to 78866 (text costs £3 + one standard network rate message). We are a charity and rely on public donations to exist.
Tortoises, turtles and terrapins may seem like relatively easy pets to keep. But the reality is that many terrapins are abandoned in to lakes and ponds when they grow too big – they can grow to the size of a dinner plate. Tortoises can also become a burden to many owners who do not realise that these animals can live for about 100 years. Terrapins can live for more than 40 years.
Two common pet species are the red-eared slider and yellow-bellied slider; the import of red-eared sliders into the EU was banned in 1997 due to concerns about the impact of released animals on the ecosystem.
Terrapins are semi-aquatic so need a pool to swim in and also areas of land for basking.
As with other reptiles, terrapins must have access UV light in order to stay healthy.
Terrapins are ectothermic (they use the external environment to control their body temperature) and native to subtropical areas in the USA and so their enclosure must provide a basking light and suitable temperature gradient to allow the animals to regulate their temperature.
Terrapins are omnivores, which means they eat plant and animal matter.
Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 it is an offence to release, or allow to escape, a non-native species like terrapins without a licence.
The RSPCA is experiencing widespread neglect of exotic animals across the country. For many people an exotic animal represents too much of a commitment which is manifested in the growing number of exotic animals being abandoned and handed to shelters around the country.
More information on caring for terrapins can be found on our website: www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/pets/other