A crayfish spotted in Woodbank Park, Stockport, has left residents horrified by its menacing claws.
On a post on Facebook, Jamie Wardle posted a photo of the creature, saying it was around four to six inches in length, and had been discovered by his dog.
Several residents initially thought the claw-bearing cephalopod was a scorpion — but Leon McCreery pointed out that it was in fact a crayfish.
Leon has past encounters with the animals, as his dog, Smudge, has developed a talent for finding them.
“I s*** myself,” Leon told the Manchester Evening News when asked how he reacted to first seeing one.
“[Smudge] is an ancient breed from Spain and they are used to herd cattle and on farms,” the 39-year-old continued, “I just saw him trying to herd something. I went over to him and thought it was a scorpion.
“I s*** myself. Then I saw I did not see a stinger tail. I was just watching it and another woman saw it and s*** herself.
“Someone else said it was a crayfish and put it back in the pond.”
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Leon and Smudge’s encounter took place in December last year, but the stay-at-home dad says he’s spotted the creatures several times since then.
These meetings have sparked Leon’s appreciation for the wider biodiversity to be found in Woodbank Park, in Offerton.
“There’s a lot up there,” he added, “you see all the squirrels and the birds.”
“You do not know about it until you come across it — then you start looking up more about it.”
It’s thought the crayfish spotted by Leon and Jamie are native white-clawed crayfish — a species under threat from signal crayfish, which are native to America.
According to the Inland Waterways Association, numbers of European white clawed crayfish have declined by 50-80 percent in the last ten years.
It is classified as ‘endangered’ on the IUCN red list of threatened species and is at risk of global extinction.