Fred­die, steady, go! Pet tor­toise’s six-mile es­cape

Daily Express - - NEWS - By Al­lis­ter Hag­ger

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

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