an irreverent look at Writtle Village, Essex, its people and goings on!
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This site has been updated on December 2006

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Hannibal the Terrapin,
Scourge of Wear Pond

Hannibal, the surviving Terrapin?

An interesting story brought to us by the Parish council, about a couple of abandoned terrapins,  so read on

2 terrapins were dumped in the pond some years ago - probably unwanted pets.  We took advice from various wildlife organisations and whilst they are exotic species and therefore not to be encouraged, it was agreed that provided they did not breed, no hard would be done.  Fortunately they must have been the same sex.  We are now down to one as the crushed remains of the other was discovered on the road a few months ago.
Last week the library reported to me a disturbing incident.  Imagine the scene a mother with toddlers gleefully watching the fluffy ducklings and then the terrapin appears.  Gasps of delight soon changed to horror when, so it was reported, in a swirl of activity the terrapin and one duckling submerged.  The duckling then reappeared headless.
Whether this is typical terrapin behaviour we do not know - it's the only report we have had.  However it was felt removal of said terrapin now named Hannibal to a less public spot i.e. Tower or Tutney pond might be advisable.  Predators will be predators after all.  To date our efforts to entrap Hannibal have been unsuccessful - he's a very wary reptile.
The question now is what should be done with Hannibal? if anything. Should we let nature take its natural course?  Should we move him, if we an catch him.

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