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Last Updated: Friday, 12 May 2006, 05:56 GMT 06:56 UK
Tortoise's great but slow escape
Horace the tortoise
Even without an atlas, Horace set off to see the world
A pet tortoise has been picked up wandering along a country lane nearly two miles from his home after being missing for eight months.

Horace had covered a distance of about 1.8 miles (2.9km) in eight months - which averages around 39ft (12m) a day.

Horace was seen in the middle of the road near St Fagans on the outskirts of Cardiff by an RSPCA inspector.

He was scanned for a microchip and was found to belong to a woman from the St Brides-super-Ely area.

He had somehow avoided all perils - included the possibility of being eaten by wild animals or crushed by cars - until he was discovered.

The RSPCA's Judith Haw said: "The owner said he went missing in about August or September last year.

Tortoises need to hibernate and she was convinced she wouldn't see him again
Judith Haw, RSPCA

"She had put him out into the garden, which is quite a big garden, and five minutes later he was gone.

"She spent a long time looking for him and thought that she was never going to see him again because she didn't think he would survive the winter.

"Tortoises need to hibernate and she was convinced she wouldn't see him again but when she heard we had found him she was thrilled."

Horace's owner had had him as a Christmas present about seven years ago when he was very young.

"She had him microchipped straight away and she is so glad she did now.

"She is really happy he's been found," she added.

Horace, who is of a variety known as a Herman's tortoise, was found by RSPCA inspector Nic de Calis, who contacted the owner.

"They were so surprised to receive my call and are delighted that they will be reunited with their long-lost pet," he said.

"This is such a wonderful story and highlights the clear benefit of having your pet microchipped.

"If Horace had not been microchipped it would have been extremely unlikely that owner and pet would ever have met again," he added.

In September 2004, another tortoise was found after a three-mile journey across the Northumberland countryside - a trip which lasted three months.

Tortoise back with family
04 Jul 01 |  UK News

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