A reptilian terror from the deep which wreaked havoc in a peaceful Holland Park pond in Kensington has been removed after a five year reign of fear.
It was a pond-dipper's worst nightmare - a monster intent on munching through the moorhen chicks, ducklings, smooth newts and dragon fly larvae which inhabit the pond in Holland Park, Kensington.
Even elaborate traps were not enough to bring the deviant 'alien' creature to justice ... until now.
Thanks to the draining of the popular spot, which was leaking and needed to be repaired, a red-eared terrapin the size of a dinner plate has finally been captured.
"It was quite a terror of a terrapin and pretty canny" said education officer Matthew Rose, who once unsuccessfully tried to nab it in a crab pot baited with fish three years ago. "Our newt population was suppressed and it was munching through the wild life. I'm pleased we've got rid of it."
D-day for the terrible terrapin, believed to have been a household pet released into the wild, came when the pond lay empty. Workers were able to swoop on the reptile while it lay in the undergrowth, unable to escape.
"We had to handle it with care," said ecology service manager Saskie Lovell. "It could have delivered a nasty bite so we took precautions not to go near its head."
The terrapin has now been forcibly 'retired' and has gone to live in the garden of a maintenance man, who owns three more of the creatures.
Ms Lovell added: "The problem with terrapins is that they are an alien species. They come from South America and they shouldn't be here. This is a big problem around the country. In many ponds you can see them basking in summer."
The wildlife pond is now undergoing a revamp. New planting has been planned to restore it to its former glory. Up to 100 tonnes of gravel has also been removed in order to repair the leaking lining.