I wrote this piece for Cork Beo over the weekend. While it is not a Pulitzer Prize winning piece it is one of the reasons why I enjoy journalism and local journalism especially.
I made it clear from the start of my Masters that I was never going to strive to be a hard news reporter. While I may have to report on things like crashes, local crimes and court reports occasionally, silly little stories of a turtle swimming in the Lough in Cork city are what I enjoy writing about.
Absolutely full to the shell with puns, have a read of my piece below.
Cork’s slowest celebrity spotted lounging in the Lough
The turtle was last spotted in March 2021 but was snapped on camera over the weekend
A video of a turtle enjoying the sunshine in the Lough is proving popular on Twitter after one user spotted the ‘pond-slider’ while out on their afternoon walk.
The turtle can be seen slowly swimming in towards land before appearing to stop to tread water and pose for the camera.
One Twitter user kindly gave the video credits to his brother before posting on the social media platform and many others responded with their own snaps of the ‘pond-slider’ species over the years.
Cork Beo reported on the invasive species in August when the National Parks and Wildlife Service warned the people of Cork of a semi-aquatic turtle that had been spotted in Rebel waters.
The ‘pond-sliders’ had been originally traded as pets in animal shops around the city but were later prohibited due to their harmful impacts on the Irish ecosystem. Since being banned, many pet owners have released them into the wild, resulting in the species being spotted in the Lough in March 2021.
The species can grow to 30cm and live for up to 50 years. They cannot reproduce due to Ireland’s climate, but pets released into the wild by owners who can no longer care for them can compete with native species for food and resources and use the nests of birds as basking sites.
They are also potential carriers for diseases and parasites which can be passed on to native species and humans. They are also believed to be a vector of salmonella, so while we appreciate all the videos and pictures of the slow and steady swimmers, it is best not to touch one if you do see one.
Unfortunately, despite cute videos like the one above, the National Parks and Wildlife Service is planning to work with both the National Biodiversity Data Centre and the Herpetological Society of Ireland to develop a national eradication plan for the species to further prevent any harm done by the turtles.