Feral terrapins (2020).
I have seen many feral terrapins in London.
There are more out there than I think people think. One time, I saw a massive one in the River Lea— infact I have seen two in there. One amongst the batrachium, still as anything. The other, in a shadowy meander, poking its head above the water slowly, before dissapearing. Many live in colonies— on the canal there are several that like to bask in the summer sun when its hot out, near Columbia Road and some by Victoria Park too. Even in suburban London, they seem to be around— I saw one at Neasden Tesco’s, hanging out in the canal feeder and another at the edge of the canal at Horsenden Hill— this one’s shell was about 30cm wide, no joke.
I think they get on pretty well in terms of food.
Water snails, mussels, plants and small fish probably. It’s hard to tell whether they are all individual results of pet abandonment or whether their ancestors (?) were, with them technically being feral and born in the wild (a bit like the rather loud, parakeet situation in London). It’s always weird to see terrapins underwater; I kind of forget that they can hold their breath under there. They are very skittish and generally dislike human presence— it’s always such a surreal thing to see when you see one up close. They probably have pretty good lives in the waterways but I know there are some good sized pike, in canals especially, that could definately make a meal
out of one.