A FAMILY pet is experiencing a new kind of life in the great out doors – but his former family are worried for his safety.

Timmy the Terrapin belonged to Nicola Parker’s sister, Sophie, in Oakenshaw, near Willington.

After Sophie died in October, Timmy was rehomed with another Oakenshaw family.

Unfortunately, the family could no longer keep the six-year-old terrapin and, after they tried to rehome him, released him into the ponds at Oakenshaw’s nature reserve.

Mrs Parker said: “I don’t think he was released with any malicious intent. He is probably loving life right now in the ponds – the weather is great for him right now, but when winter comes he will suffer as the temperature drops.

“Sophie was a huge animal lover who kept dogs, cats, and of course Timmy the Terrapin.

“I think she would be sad that he is missing and happy that people are going out looking for him.”

Timmy was initially found three weeks ago by a family friend – Hayley Barnett and her son Archie – who put him back in the water.

Mrs Barnett said: “We were up at the ponds and my son said he had found a turtle. We took a few photos and thought nothing of it, a few weeks later we made the connection that it was Timmy after being told about him being released.”

If anyone finds Timmy contact Mrs Parker via Facebook or post in the Oakenshaw Residents Association Facebook group.

Terrapins are usually a low maintenance pet, only requiring a tank with a filter, warm water and sun lamp. They usually hang around the edge of the ponds were the water is shallow to ‘sunbathe’ and keep themselves warm.