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Pet tortoise reunited with owner after going missing for 15 months

Sybil the tortoise was missing for over a year before being returned to owner Catherine Painter.

A pet African spurred tortoise was reunited with her owner in Surrey after going missing for 15 months.

RSPCA officers posted a photo of Sybil the tortoise to its Facebook page after the animal was found in a local garden, where she was then returned to owner Catherine Painter.

Ms Painter, who took Sybil in six years ago after finding her as a stray, said: “It’s so wonderful to have her home. My five-year-old grandson was so emotional.

“She’s got straight back into the routine and made a beeline for the vegetable patch. And she still loves cuddling up with the other tortoises.”

(RSPCA)

Ms Painter, who owns five tortoises in total, said she had almost “given up hope” of finding Sybil until she found the RSPCA’s Facebook post about the tortoise.

In 2018, the RSPCA received 952 calls about tortoises and collected 384 of the reptiles.

Dr Stephanie Jayson, RSPCA senior scientific officer in exotics and wildlife trade, said: “We hear stories like these all too often and our officers are regularly called to collect stray tortoises and escaped pets.

“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.”

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