A huge terrapin has been spotted in a Doncaster lake – just days after dead piranha fish were found at another town beauty spot.
The reptile has been spotted basking in the sun at Lakeside over the weekend – entertaining visitors who have flocked to the area in a bid to catch a glimpse of the creature.
It comes just days after Martinwell Lake at Edlington made global headlines after two separate walkers found deadly razor-toothed piranha fish floating in the water.
Terry Oates, who lives in Lakeside and who spotted the terrapin over the weekend, said: “It's the first time I've seen it - and the way people are talking around the lake today it seems like it's a new but I can't be sure on that.”
Unlike piranhas, which are used to warmer climes and warmer waters, terrapins can survive in British ponds, lakes and rivers – but they are known predators, eating fish, frogs, newts, ducklings and eggs.
Terrapins, which are a small species of turtle, come in various breeds and species and different varieties can grow up to more than 12 inches in length.
He added: “I shall watch out for it. It just kept coming to top then going down to the bottom for a while.”
Terrapins can live up to 40 years in the wild, preying on native UK species such as frogs, fish, and even ducklings, and it is not uncommon to see "dinner plate-sized" adults swimming or basking in the sunshine in Britain's waterways.
Terrapins often breed in hot conditions and last year's hot summer may have produced the right conditions for the terrapins to breed, which could spell bad news for native wildlife at Lakeside.
Last week, we revealed how piranhas had been found at the former Edlington Brick Pond – and that Doncaster Council was warning people to stay away from the water while tests were carried out on the fish.
It is thought that the piranhas may have been kept as pets before being dumped in the lake, although it is thought they would have died shortly after being released.
We have contacted the Environment Agency for comment.