MAIL readers have shown concern after a number of turtles were spotted in Barrow in suspected cases of abandonment.

A member of the public captured a picture of a turtle, thought to be a terrapin, at Barrow reservoir last week.

The latest sighting is in addition to other incidences of turtles being spotted across the town.

Between 3 March to 6 July 2020 there were 353 abandonment incidents for exotic pets reported to the RSPCA.

Readers have shared the animal charity’s concern in the growing numbers of turtles being abandoned.

Sam Purcell said: “We found one near the duck pond at Liberata. I wanted to bring it home but the other half wouldn’t let me.”

Lynne Morgan said: “I have seen this one at the reservoir, it’s been there for a few years.”

Rebecca Heighton said: “There’s one in the water across from Asda by Liberata offices – been there years, too.”

Shelley Foward said: “It’s a terrapin and they have been there for years. The park has them too.”

Gill Park said: “There have been quite a few of them over the years in the reservoir.”

Sarah Smith said: “It’s really sad if they’re being abandoned like this.”

A spokesperson for the RSPCA Barrow said: “We are seeing an increase in turtles being abandoned across Barrow and it’s incredibly worrying.

“We are aware of several cases of turtles being found in the wild across the town and we want to raise awareness to stop it from happening.

“Turtles are not native to the UK and introducing them to the wild is harmful both to the turtles and the environment. Our climate isn’t warm enough for them to be outside and they don’t have access to the correct diet they need to thrive.

“Other turtles have also been sighted in Barrow Park.”

Last year the RSPCA warmed against people taking on exotic pets without a proper understanding of what caring for these animals entails.