Here is World Cup hysteria coming out of its shell as two terrapins challenge each other to a game of a football.
The pair nicknamed Phil Jagishellka and Danny Shellbeck were filmed knocking a ball about in the water at Manchester’s Sea Life Centre.
Bosses at the aquarium decided to get behind the England team by having all its terrapins sport the numbers of the 23 man national squad – with an accompanying photo of the player’s face replaced by that of his corresponding reptile.
SHELLFISH: One terrapin hogs the ball (©Cavendish Press with thanks)
LOOKALIKE?: England’s number 10 Wayne Rooney’s terrapin (©Cavendish Press with thanks)
Curator Lucy Handel said: “We needed to number all 48 of our rescued terrapins anyway, so we could keep track of each one’s veterinary records – so it only seemed right we should name them after the England team regardless of how they do in the World Cup.
“Visiting soccer fans should have great fun trying to find their favourite player’s terrapin twin in a tank that is literally teeming with them.”
The terrapins are all unwanted or abandoned pets left after they and freshwater turtles became ‘trendy pets’ after the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles became worldwide children’s favourites via comic books, TV series and films.
TERRAPIN TACKLE: An aquatic fight for the ball (©Cavendish Press with thanks)
PIN NUMBER: Sea Life staff are taking the chance to tag their terrapins (©Cavendish Press with thanks)
Luckily, in the UK, the climate is not warm enough for released terrapins to breed successfully, but in the short time they do survive they can wreak havoc among native freshwater species.
Lucy added: “Sadly, very few of the people who bought them appreciate how big they can grow or how much care they need and many ended up being released into ponds and streams.”
Story via Cavendish Press