A freshwater turtle is being looked after in Tynemouth after being rescued from a Northumberland beach by a lifeboat crew.
The red-eared terrapin was discovered on the beach in Newbiggin by a member of the local RNLI crew who had spotted it ‘running about like a greyhound’.
It was first spotted more than a week ago but was finally caught on Wednesday and transported to Blue Reef Aquarium, where it is being looked after in the new Marine Rescue Centre.
Blue Reef’s Anna Pellegrino said: “We got a call from the RNLI station to say that a turtle had been spotted on the beach and they had managed to catch it.
“At first we thought it could have been a sea turtle that had stranded but, on arrival, it soon became clear that it was actually a freshwater turtle and had almost certainly been dumped on the beach by someone.
“We get several calls a week from people looking to rehome unwanted exotic pets and we usually have to say ‘no’ as we simply don’t have the space. However, we felt it was only fair to make an exception in this case and Biggi, as he has been nicknamed, is currently being looked after in our new rescue centre.”
Red-eared terrapins get their name from the small red dash around their ears.
Freshwater turtles and terrapins remain popular pets and often measure only a few centimetres across when they are first bought, but they can reach up to 30cm.