RSPCA called to collect a stray tortoise “marching” across a golf course in Surrey
The RSPCA is appealing to find the owner of a tortoise who managed to find his way onto a golf course at Walton on Thames.
The tortoise was spotted by some golfers and the groundsman from Burhill Golf Club contacted the RSPCA on Friday, 7 July.
RSPCA Inspector Joanne Bowling attended and collected the Hermann’s tortoise which was transferred to the care of RSPCA exotics officer Pete Yarde.
Inspector Bowling said: “This fella must have wandered a long way to end up on the grounds of this golf course. He was quite light in weight so may not have eaten a lot for a while. We suspect he has probably strayed from a garden as it is surprising how much ground they can cover in a short space of time.
“Sadly he wasn’t microchipped and we have put his details on the Pets Located website in the hope his owner might come forward. We believe he is aged between eight and 10 years old.”
Animal Welfare Officer Peter Yarde, added: “Since the spring we have been called to a spate of tortoise rescues in the Surrey area. Just over the last three months we have collected six, which is quite a lot considering, and only one owner has been traced.
“Many people don’t seem to realise that you can get a tortoise microchipped by an exotics vet, and so we would advise any owners to do so. We think what may have been happening is people have been letting their tortoise out in the garden during the warmer weather and they are escaping. Sadly it can then prove a real challenge to find them again.
“We would urge people to ensure that their gardens are secure and also to get their pets chipped so that if they do stray and are found we can then reunite them.”
If no owner comes forward the tortoise will be put up for rehoming to someone who has the experience and set-up to look after him.
The RSPCA would urge potential owners to research and look into what is required in the care of their pet first before taking one on so they know what is involved and how long it is likely to be for. There are books full of information on how to care for all sorts of species and specialist vets are an excellent source of support and advice.”
Anyone who would like further information on how to care for exotics animals should visit: www.rspca.org.uk/exotics
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/give or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).