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Lost tortoise in good health after unfounded fears over its red feet

By Matthew Cooper

A “huge” stray tortoise is said to be in good health after being found in a Staffordshire field.

The RSPCA, which was called out to the unusual discovery near the village of Church Eaton, is appealing for help to reunite the rare red-footed tortoise with its owner.

The animal charity said the reptile was checked over and found to be fine on Tuesday despite initial concern that his back feet were bleeding.

There was no sign on examination of any cuts or bleeding so we let him wander around the surgery. He appears to be in good health

RSPCA Inspector Heather Morris

RSPCA inspector Heather Morris, who collected the tortoise and took him to a vet, said: “He is quite a size, so I can understand why he was spotted – he is just beautiful.

“I normally pick up little tortoises but he is huge!

“When I went to collect him I took a large bird box with me, but I soon realised he wasn’t going to fit! He was over nine kilogrammes.

“There was no sign on examination of any cuts or bleeding so we let him wander around the surgery. He appears to be in good health.

“Unfortunately he isn’t microchipped so we don’t know where he has come from, so if anyone has any information about his owner we would urge them to get in touch with us.

(RSPCA/PA)

“Hopefully we can track them down and get him safely home. We do sadly deal with a lot of abandoned exotic pets, so I hope this isn’t the case here.”

The RSPCA said tortoise owners often let their pets out in the garden during sunny weather, and they can become very active in the warm temperatures and sunshine.

“It’s really important that owners keep a close eye on their pets when outside or have a secure run to keep them in to keep them safe from other animals, and to ensure they can’t escape,” Ms Morris added.

Anyone with information about the tortoise is asked to call the RSPCA inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.

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