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Whalley couple ‘devastated’ as pet tortoise toddles off
TODDLES the pet tortoise, who has been with his family for almost 45 years, has toddled off.
Ivan Hargreaves inherited the reptile, thought to be about 80 years old, after the death of his parents Harry and Phyllis.
But he and his wife Sarah were devastated when the creature went missing from Whalley while they were away on holiday.
Ivan, a financial planner, said: “We had left him with a friend while we were away and it turned out the garden wasn’t as escape-proof as we thought.
“Mum and dad would think it was a great shame that he has wandered off. The last time he was spotted was two weeks ago in the Mitton Road area.”
Signs have been put up throughout the area in a desperate attempt to bring Toddles home.
Ivan said the whole family had also been seraching for their beloved pet.
The ‘wanted’ poster reads: “Distinguishing features include: beautiful shell, scaly legs, beady eyes, a poor grasp of English and a general lack of common sense.
“He is about 80 and he likes humans, especially ones who feed him.
“He has a habit of getting wedged in or behind things, for example cavities behind or between plant pots or dustbins, and falling into holes, such as drains.
“Once he is stuck, his rigid shell and general inflexibility mean he can’t get out again.
“Please will you check your garden to see if he is there?”
Anyone who finds Toddles is asked to call 01254 824888 or 822140.
Tortoises and other long-life creatures
- Tortoises have become quite rare in the UK since the Tortoise Importation Ban in 1984, which stopped them being brought in from other countries.
- They can vary in size from of few centimetres to two metres.
- The oldest tortoise ever recorded was Tui Malila, which was presented to the Tongan royal family by Captain Cook, living until it was 188.
- Tortoises walk at between 0.13 and 0.30 miles per hour
- Children’s programme Blue Peter has had five pet tortoises, called Freda, brother and sister Maggie and Jim, George and Shelley.
- According to a Blackpool Zoo specialist, tortoises are capable of walking about half a mile in a day, depending on the obstacles they face.
- Other long lived animals include: A lobster called George, owned briefly by the City Crab and Seafood restaurant in New York, thought to be 140 years old when released into the wild in January 2009; A female blue and yellow macaw called Charlie reportedly hatched in 1899, which would make her 113 today if true; An orca whale in the North Pacific Ocean, which is the oldest in its community at 101 years old.
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