Shock for owners as Turbo the tortoise turns up

Turbo the runaway tortoise sparked a police hunt when she went missing from her hutch in Sheringham two months ago.Owner Beryl Potter suspected thieves had stolen the �1,000 pet to sell on the black market, but a police appeal for information brought no new leads.

Turbo the runaway tortoise sparked a police hunt when she went missing from her hutch two months ago.

Owner Beryl Potter suspected thieves had stolen the �1,000 pet to sell on the black market, but a police appeal for information brought no new leads.

But when her owners renovated their garden shed, they were shell-shocked to discover the burrowing beast sleeping peacefully in a muddy den under the ground.

Turbo, who is about the size of a dinner plate, burrowed more than 2ft into the soft earth of the Potters' garden border at Rushmer Way, Sheringham.


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She was only found when they pulled down an old garden shed, disturbing the earth and revealing her hideaway.

Mrs Potter said: 'We're just overjoyed to have her back. I never thought I'd see her again. I've never known her do anything like this before.

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'My husband and I looked all over the garden for her, the neighbours looked, even the police helped. We thought she must have been stolen.

'Now she's covered in straw in a box in the new shed. She'll have to go in the greenhouse when she hibernates next year.'

Turbo, who has been a family pet for more than 30 years, vanished from her hutch during the night on Saturday January 17. She was in a hutch covered with a tarpaulin, which Mrs Potter now thinks must have blown off in the wind.

She had been living in her hutch for 11 years since the Potters moved to Sheringham.

Most tortoises hibernate for 12 weeks to six months depending on the species. They fast for three weeks digesting the last of their food and then begin to fall asleep to conserve energy during the winter.

In the wild some species dig burrows or find underground dens to sleep in safely, but in captivity they are more often put in boxes or hutches, covered with straw, dirt or dry leaves and left to hibernate till warmer weather wakes them up.

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