RSPCA Cymru is appealing for information after a terrapin was found in a front garden in New Quay, Ceredigion.
The member of the public who found him contacted the RSPCA after they found the reptile in their front garden at Park Street on 10 September.
RSPCA inspector Holly Brown said: “The callers enquired with neighbours but no one seems to be missing him, so they then gave us a call. They have nicknamed him Trevor.
“He is an adult male in good health and it is thought he is a yellow-bellied or red-eared terrapin.”
Trevor has been now taken to an exotics specialist.
“Trevor has been enjoying himself in their pond, while we try and see if his owner comes forward, if not he will be rehomed,” added inspector Brown.
“I just hope we are able to find his owners – or are able to find out where he came from.”
The RSPCA is experiencing widespread neglect of exotic animals across the country. For many people an exotic animal represents too much of a commitment.
Terrapins, also called ‘sliders’, require a large, heated tank, supplied with a heat lamp and an ultraviolet light as well as a varied diet to prevent metabolic bone disease and remain healthy. Owners may not realise the how costly and time-consuming caring for these animals can be when they purchase one.
This is manifested in the growing number of exotic animals being abandoned to the wild. It is an offence to release a non-native animal into the wild under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981.
Anyone who may have information about this terrapin 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).
Tortoises 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. They can also become a burden to many owners who do not realise that tortoises can live for about 100 years and terrapins can live for more than 40 years.
Two commonly kept species are the red-eared slider and yellow-bellied slider. However, the import of red-eared sliders into the EU was banned in 1997 due to concerns about the impact of non-native animals on our 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.