Joy as escaped pet tortoise reunites with his Morecambe family

A pet tortoise has returned home where he belongs with his family after going missing for two days.

Monday, 12th July 2021, 2:06 pm

Tom has been Stephen and Liz Ashby's well-loved family pet for the past 13 years, but he loves his adventures too.

A couple of weeks ago he escaped from the garden of the family home in Grosvenor Park, Morecambe and had been missing for two days.

Family and neighbours searched high and low, but he was nowhere to be found. They even left a trail of strawberries - a fruit he loves eating, but to no avail. Hopes were beginning to fade until someone spotted a post on social media saying they had found a tortoise!

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Liz and Stephan Ashby with their beloved pet tortoise, Tom

Relieved Liz (65), said: "Tom was bought as a baby and it was a gift to my husband for our 30th wedding anniversary! He is a very sociable and loves eating strawberries, but he enjoys going AWOL too!

"We have a fairly decent-sized garden and around eight years ago he was wondering around when he escaped for two days. Family, friends and neighbours searched high and low for him, but sadly Tom was nowhere to be found. We all thought Tom was gone forever The day after we called off the search, Stephen (70) was leaving the house to go to work when he saw two tiny legs sticking out of the soil in the garden. Yes, it was Tom! We were all over the moon that Tom was safe and sound, and after a good telling off and dusting down he was placed back in his nice warm bed."

The retired nurse added: "Tom has behaved himself for some time now, however, a close eye has always been kept on him whenever he is out and about. This was until a couple of weeks ago when he was allowed to wander around the back garden lapping up the sunshine and decided to go AWOL again! Once again, we looked high and low for him, but sadly,Tom was nowhere to be found. He had been missing for two whole days and we were all resigned to the fact that this time he would not be coming back….until that is …someone posted an appeal on social media asking if anyone had lost a tortoise!! Eagle-eyed local resident, Lucy, spotted Tom emerging near a bus stop. She took him inside her house and kept him warm. He had managed to cross the busy Morecambe Road. We went to collect him and were absolutely delighted it was our Tom!

The mother-of-two went onto say: "Since Tom has returned, we have kept a very close eye on him, but he is so tired from his adventures, that he's hardly moved!

Strawberry-mad eating tortoise Tom

"It's a huge relief he is back where he belongs and my three grandchildren are over the moon. In fact, all our neighbours are elated too! We cannot thank Lucy enough for looking after him.

"Tom is certainly an escapologist and despite what you think about tortoises, he can get a shift on!"