‘Voracious predator’ terrapins to be removed from Clissold Park ponds after being dumped by owners

The terrapins have been spotted in Clissold Park. Picture: Lincoln Dexter

The terrapins have been spotted in Clissold Park. Picture: Lincoln Dexter - Credit: Archant

Unwanted terrapins have been dumped in the ponds at Clissold Park by their owners – and the town hall says the “voracious predators” will be removed.

The roaming reptiles have been spotted by numerous park users over the last week or so, and a video even surfaced online of one laying an egg.

But concerns have been raised they are going to eat the rest of the wildlife in the ponds, and now Hackney Council is set to act.

Deputy mayor Cllr Feryal Demirci said: “We are aware there are number of terrapins that have been released into the ponds at Clissold Park by members of the public and will be contacting the Environment Agency to arrange for them to be removed.

“Terrapins are not native to the UK and are a voracious predator, consuming plants and any animal they can catch.

“They impact upon native aquatic life, including amphibians, invertebrates, fish and possibly even young waterfowl. “Controlling non-native species in the ponds, improves the conditions and habitat for native wildlife and helps to increase biodiversity.”

This is the second time in recent years the council has had to remove terrapins, which are native to North and South America.

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In 2014 floating traps were used to capture them and they were taken, unharmed, to a terrapin rescue centre.

Cllr Demirci added: “It is an offence to release any non-native species into the wild in the UK. We therefore ask members of the public considering releasing any unwanted pets into a park that they instead return them to a pet shop or take them to a rescue centre for re-homing.”

Terrapins carry diseases such as salmonella, which is transmisible to humans and dogs, which are regularly walked in the Stoke Newington park.