25 May 2011
Hybrid turtles are taking hold of London's parks and ponds.
Experts studying 1,600 square kilometres of London and the home counties were shocked to find 10 species and several hybrids. They even found rare African turtles in a Camden park.
Despite culls, numbers are growing. Tom Langton of the London Natural History Society said: "We found a big increase in the sightings of terrapins, a type of turtle popular in the Eighties due to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoon series."
A government ban in 1997 has led to "lookalike" species being sold cheaply in pet shops. Mr Langton said he hoped all terrapins would be banned in the UK.