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Warning Over Buying Exotic Pets

We're being asked to think twice before buying exotic pets, such as terrapins, because of the problems they cause if released into the wild.

Terrapins are proving particularly popular again ahead of the rumoured release of a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie.

Environment officers are concerned that many are bought as pets and then released, after realising the big implications and responsibilities of owning the creatures.

The local climate allows them to survive well in the wild and potentially they could start breeding. There is also a possibility they can spread
salmonella to humans and domestic animals and introduce diseases into our native wildlife populations.

"The reality is that these reptiles require a lot of care and they can live for 30 years. When they are hatched they are just a few centimeters in size, however they can grow to the size of a dinner plate and have a nasty bite. At this point, people find them difficult to care for them and need to re-home them.

"Terrapins could carry disease and they run the risk of infecting our native frogs and toads, it is for this reason we are asking islanders to consider the long-term implications of owning an exotic pet and how they may re-home them in the future." - John Pinel, Principal Ecologist and Assistant Director Natural Environment.

You can get advice on caring for terrapins here.

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