ONE of the largest specimens of the Florida turtle ever seen in the Balearics has been found in Porto Cristo.
This example of the turtle, which is native to the southeast United States, weighs three kilogrammes and is 40 centimetres long.
The animal was found in June and constitutes the largest example of its kind ever found in the Balearics, according to the autonomous Department of the Environment.
The Florida turtle is found in most pet shops but it can quickly turn into a pest when released into the wild in an irresponsible fashion, the department said in a statement.
It added that this happens quite regularly, as the turtle grows too big for the owner and they decide to get rid of it. The species inhabits humid zones and proliferates quickly, adapting itself to the environment it inhabits.
The principal impact of this invasive species is the loss of biodiversity in the zone affected and an increase in their numbers.
The Florida turtle is also a threat to other turtle species.
This type of turtle can be quite aggressive and is a formidable hunter of young fish and other species of animals.
The turtle also lives a long time.
Some specimens can live up to 42 years, though most live until about 30.
For this reason, the Department has said that the control and elimination of the species is important in order to preserve the natural environment.