Wednesday, 4 May 2011

European Pond Terrapin

The European pond turtle is a terrapin.  It is  of a medium size varying from 12 to 38 cm in length. Its shell is brown with a hint of green with yellow spots. Emys orbicularis species have become rare in most countries even though they are widely distributed in Europe. They are a protected species and are not allowed to be kept as pets.

So, what a wonderful and unexpected surprise Captain Sensible received on his walk with camera in hand. He thought it was a tortoise but its tail alerted me to the fact that it may be a terrapin. I am glad he left it where he was because it was in its natural habitat.  If it were a tortoise I had wondered whether it should go to the vet as someone may have lost it.  But that decision was not necessary.

I did some research on Wikipedia.   They prefer to live in wetland areas surrounded by large, natural, woodland but can travel up to 100 metres away from the water and occasionally up to 4000 metres to lay their eggs in nests which they may return to year after year or they will travel for feeding.

I wish I had seen it.

A few days before that we met unexpectedly, a lady who is keeping three tortoises.  As they are over 15 years old she is worried that people might come and steal them .. so we are sworn to secrecy.

With grateful thanks to Captain Sensible for permission to use his photos.  Click on them for a larger view.

1 comment:

Susan said...

Lucky Capt Sensible! They are on the move now for breeding and egg laying. There are warning signs on the roads in the Brenne to encourage drivers to take care and not squash them. Sadly, the last one I saw was squashed, within view of the sign.