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Turtle abandoned at McDonalds nicknamed Ronald

The terrapin and Ronald the mock turtle in the ice cream box they were found in Photo: RSPCA

RSPCA officers are appealing for help to find a man who left a box containing a terrapin and a turtle, both in bad health, at a branch of McDonalds in Brighton.

The man was seen carrying a box into the restaurant in Brighton Marina Leisure Centre at about 1pm on Wednesday 30th November. He left the two-litre ice cream box on a table and then walked out. The animals were inside the container, along with a wet t-shirt for bedding and a piece of lettuce for food.

The yellow-bellied terrapin was so ill that it was put down following advice from a vet, to stop it suffering anymore.

The musk turtle, nicknamed Ronald because of where he was found, is being treated by a vet. The RSCA said they will try to find a specialist home for him when he is well enough to be moved elsewhere.

“I can’t imagine what went through someone’s mind to walk into McDonalds and think - ‘this is a good place to leave two of my pets.’

“It is not just that these animals were dumped which upsets me, but they had clearly not been given proper care.

“The poor terrapin had advanced stages of what the vet thinks was metabolic bone disease. He was extremely skinny, covered in algae, his eyes were closed and puffy and his shell, which should have been hard, was as soft as putty.

“He was nearly dead when he was found and there was nothing which could be done to save him. He had a short life and I imagine was miserable for most of it.

“Ronald the turtle is in a lot better shape but still had a soft shell and clearly has not been looked after properly.

“We urge anyone with any information about who may have dumped them in this way to call us on 0300 123 8018. We would also be extremely keen to hear from anyone with specialist knowledge and experience of musk turtles who might be able to offer Ronald a home.”

– Liz Wheeler, RSPCA Inspector