Campaigners in Madrid are trying to stop people dumping their unwanted pet terrapins in a train station pond.
There are currently about 250 terrapins living in the city’s Atocha station, which features a huge central tropical plant display surrounded by water. They have become something of a tourist attraction, but the space has become so overcrowded that some of the reptiles are dying, El Pais reports. The problem has been caused by people abandoning pet terrapins in the water over the course of two decades, the report says.
Luckily for the terrapins, campaigners on social media took up their cause, launching a petition on Change.org in July which has now garnered nearly 9,000 signatures. The campaign calls on the state-owned company which runs Spain’s stations, Adif, to do more to look after the turtles.
The two people behind the campaign, Yolanda Sanchez and Antonio Manas, say the publicity prompted a long-awaited meeting with Adif, at which the company committed to improving the filtration of the water within the the next three months. But the campaigners want to keep pressure on the company to allow re-homing and prevent more terrapins being dumped in the station. “The most important thing is to stop the entry of animals in the pond,” they said in a recent interview. “We understand that is not possible in the short term, but it also cannot be postponed for too long.”
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