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EDITIONS
 Monday, 23 December, 2002, 08:39 GMT
Dumped 'heroes' head for Tuscany
Hero turtles
Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles led to the terrapin craze
Experts are removing an increasing number of terrapins from waters in the East Midlands.

It is believed the creatures are unwanted pets, dumped by youngsters who had been captivated by the TV show Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles.

The carnivores are now threatening local wildlife, particularly waterfowl.

Members of the British Chelonia Group - which cares for tortoises, turtles and terrapins - are removing the creatures and exporting them to the warmer waters of Tuscany, in Italy.

Jackie Stevens and terrapin
Jackie Stevens says terrapins will enjoy Italy's climate
Among them is Jackie Stevens, from Leicestershire, who is catching terrapins in the 230-acre Foremark reservoir, in Derbyshire.

"It's warmer for them there (in Italy)," she said.

"And it is heated water, heated by the underwater springs, so they won't need heating through the winter."

Most of the terrapins are transported in aircraft cargo holds, but larger creatures are being carried in planes' passenger cabins.

It was reported last year that terrapins - again thought to be dumped by fans of the "hero turtles" - were killing ducklings in a London park.


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21 Jun 01 | Entertainment
07 Apr 00 | Scotland
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