Tortoises apparently keep wandering away from their owners as yet another one was found strolling in a field in Hertfordshire.

Earlier this month, we published a story about Herbert the giant tortoise who was reunited with his owners after being found in Bovingdon, three miles from his home.

In a separate incident, a woman had to push a giant Sulcata tortoise home in a wheelbarrow after discovering him in a field near Hemel Hempstead - according to RSPCA.

RSPCA animal collection officer Kate Wright who was called to help on July 16 said: “The woman was out walking her dog across the fields when she came across this rather large tortoise strolling down the side of a farmer’s crop field. He was obviously a long way from home!

“He is very heavy so she had to go home to get a wheelbarrow and ask her son to lift him into it before wheeling him back home.”

Watford Observer:

This tortoise was found near Hemel Hempstead. Photo: RSPCA

The woman called RSPCA and Ms Wright attended but the tortoise wasn’t microchipped.

She said: “We’d always encourage tortoise owners to get their pets microchipped and to ensure they are kept in a secure enclosure,” Kate added.

“While many people think of tortoises as being slow they’re actually quite active and can move at quite a pace when they want to.

“Tortoises also climb, dig and can push their way through barriers so can be good escape artists. We receive almost 1,000 calls every year about tortoises, many of which have escaped from their homes and gone on the run!”

Watford Observer:

Photo: RSPCA

The Sulcata tortoise - which can grow to be up to 80cm long and weigh more than 100kg - was eventually reunited with his owner who was advised to get him microchipped.

952 incidents involving tortoises are reported to the RSPCA each year. The animal charity is reminding all tortoise owners to ensure their pet is microchipped and kept in a secure enclosure.

In Hendon, London, a tortoise named Rocky was rescued by RSPCA after being found wandering down a road on May 30.

Watford Observer:

Rocky the tortoise, Photo: RSPCA

He was taken to the charity’s Putney Animal Hospital where staff found he was microchipped and managed to trace his owners.

But the owners felt they could no longer care for him and he was adopted by a member of RSPCA staff from West Sussex.

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

“Tortoise owners often let their pets out in the garden during the summer weather and tortoises 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.”

Watford Observer:

Another picture of Rocky. Photo: RSPCA

Dr Jayson added: “We would urge anyone thinking of getting a pet - whether it’s a hamster, dog, snake or tortoise - to properly research that animal and its needs before bringing one home.

“Tortoises can live for 100 years so it takes a lot of commitment and we urge any potential owners to thoroughly research what is required in the care of the particular species before taking one on. They will need to make sure they can give them the environment they need and that they have the facilities, time, financial means and the long-term commitment to maintain a good standard of care.”

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