Homeless in a half shell!

Red-footed tortoises © RSPCA


Three rare red-footed tortoises were found by bemused staff in the outdoor display of rabbit hutches at a Pets at Home store in Woodrow Way, Gloucester, last Saturday 30, August 2014.

The staff called us and we collected the animals and took them to be checked over by a specialist vet. The vet found the tortoises were cold and slightly underweight but otherwise unharmed by their ordeal.

We are unsure as to whether the animals were dumped or possibly stolen and then abandoned, as they are quite rare and appear to be in good condition.

Animal Welfare Officer Steve Davies said:

“This was a very lucky escape for these tortoises, who require specialist care to keep them happy and healthy. If they had been left exposed to the elements for much longer this could have been a very different story.”


Can you help?

We would urge anyone with information about how these tortoises came to be dumped outside a Pets at Home to contact us, in confidence, on our inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.

The tortoises are currently being looked after at the Vale Wildlife Centre in Beckford, Gloucester.


About Red-footed tortoises

  • Red-footed tortoises © RSPCARed-footed tortoises (Chelonoidis carbonaria) are tortoises from northern South America – their natural habitat ranges from savannah to forest edges around the Amazon Basin.
  • They are medium-sized tortoises that generally average 30 centimetres. They are sometimes kept as pets and sadly over-collection for the pet trade, as well as hunting and habitat loss, has greatly reduced their numbers in the wild’.
  • Tortoises, like many other exotics, are long-lived animals with specific requirements, such as lighting and heating equipment, and access to specialist veterinary care which can prove expensive. Any potential owner should be confident they can care for an animal throughout its life before they take on the commitment.