Two terrapins have had a lucky escape after being abandoned in a field near Camborne.
The animals were brought to Duchy College Rosewarne because the RSPCA did not have the correct facilities to look after the exotic creatures.
The animals are now being nursed back to full health after being found dumped in a plastic box.
The smaller male has been identified as a yellow belly slider, but the larger male with its distinctive yellow and black markings hasn’t yet been identified.
Laura Fallows, who runs the Animal Management Centre, said: “People buy terrapins because they are very cute when they’re small. When they grow to full size they are really quite large and need a lot of space; that’s when owners have second thoughts and problems can start. Unfortunately, we get a lot of enquiries from pet-owners who would like us to take them off their hands, so people really need to think carefully before they commit.”
The pair of males are currently living in a tank in the isolation room, as both are suffering from a bacterial infection called shell rot, which is brought on when the animals spend too much time in the water without sufficient access to dry areas or heated lamps to dry off.
Laura said: “I’m looking after them daily and it’s fantastic to see these terrapins get back to full health, enjoying swimming and drying off under the UV lamps. The students will really enjoy working with a new type of animal.”
When they are fully recovered they will go to live in a new enclosure in the exotics room, where students on animal management courses will observe and care for them as part of their course.