Freddie, steady, go! Pet tortoise’s six-mile escape
A 70-YEAR-OLD tortoise made a dash for freedom – walking six miles in one day to his local zoo where a female had moved in.
The owners of the runaway reptile said they were shell shocked when they discovered Freddie was missing.
Joanne Stanton said: “When we came back from work he was gone. We have a fence around the garden and he must have bashed his way out.”
But he has since been reunited with his owners following a successful Facebook appeal and is now preparing to sleep off his epic June adventure – by hibernating.
Freddie covered the impressive distance at an average speed of a quarter of a mile an hour.
He was found by a passer-by in a lane behind Jersey Zoo which had recently taken in Astrid, a 15-yearold female. But he was handed in to a tortoise sanctuary before he actually got to meet her.
Joanne, 53, of St Mary, Jersey, described Freddie as a “typically slow” tortoise and is amazed at how much ground he covered.
She said: “He’s a typical tortoise – slow. He picks up a bit of speed when he sees a dandelion. Whether he had a few dandelions before he set off, I don’t know.”
Freddie has been in Joanne’s family for more than half a century. She took him in from her father-in-law three years ago.
The pet has form. It once went missing for a year so his address was painted on his shell. She said: “When he went missing my father-in-law painted his address on his shell. Although it had worn off there were still specs of white paint on the shell which was how we knew it was him.”
Freddie, above, put his best foot forward to find Astrid, left