Punggol pond dirty and smelly due to abandoned terrapins, which are unlikely to survive

The New Paper
May 13, 2024

Red-eared sliders have a lifespan of about 30 years and their hatchlings can be bought easily in Singapore.

However, there are pet owners unwilling to take care of their terrapins after some time and take the easy way out – abandonment.

The pond at Punggol Point Park, which according to National Parks Board "contains aquatic plants and is not designed for animals such as red-eared sliders", has turned turbid and reeks on hot days due to its population of abandoned terrapins.

Mr A. Sankar, co-founder and president of Herpetological Society Singapore, said the red-eared sliders in the pond were abandoned pets and would probably not survive in the wild.

"There needs to be better education for pet owners. Keeping pets is a life-long responsibility and abandonment cannot be tolerated. Pets should not be left in the wild," he told Lianhe Zaobao.

The Chinese daily reported that there was garbage seen floating in the pond and the terrapins swarmed to the edge of the pond when they spotted people walking past, as if asking to be fed.

Mr Han, a 68-year-old Hougang resident who takes walks in the park, said: "The water in the pond was not this green about three, four years ago, but now it looks dirty."

Under the Animals and Birds Act, anyone found guilty of animal cruelty including abandonment can be imprisoned for up to 18 months, fined up to $15,000, or both.

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