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Boxer sniffs out 35-year-old tortoise that had been missing for six months

Custom_sam_sheepdog_300_thumb By Martha | | Comments (0)

wilson the boxer finds tortoise

Last week, Rachel and Carl Worsnip were walking their boxer, Wilson, by the River Alyn in Kenstone Close, Mold, UK when he got excited by something he had found while sniffing in the undergrowth. They didn't know what it was initially, but when they approached, Carl exclaimed "I don't think that's a rock"

"We had a closer look and that's when we realised it was a tortoise. It was the size of a frying pan and definitely a bit of a shock." The couple and Wilson had found a spur-thighed/Greek tortoise. "Wilson was quite thrilled with himself. He was quite excited but he came away easily," said Rachel. 

The reptile was about 30 centimeters long and weighted around 5 pounds. It turns out the tortoise wasn't an abandoned animal. Instead, she had escaped from her owner's garden 6 months earlier and gone missing. 

As the weather was quite warm, the couple decided to leave it be initially, while keeping an eye on it. The two-year-old boxer enjoyed the nightly excursions to his curious "find". "We kept checking on the tortoise when we walked Wilson but because it was so warm we didn’t move her straight away," said Rachel. "Then the weather turned colder so we read up on tortoises on the internet and thought we had better do something."

They went to the river and took the tortoise to Grange Veterinary Hospital where vets gave the reptile a health check and scanned her. It turns out the tortoise was in good health and was microchipped. Her name was Terrie and she was 35 years old. The vets were able to get in touch with Terrie's owners who were delighted she had been found. They had been searching far and wide for their pet who they had had for more than 20 years. "The woman said she thought that was it, with it being over six months. She said she was about to dig up the flower bed to have one more look," said Rachel. 

"It was very emotional for us to have her back and I am grateful to the people who found her," said Terrie's owner, who wanted to remain anonymous. Wilson deserves most of the credit though, and Rachel said her dog is "a typical boxer, very mad, very loyal and inquisitive. He's lovely and really soft."

Spur-thighed tortoise
A boxer found a missing pet spur-thighed tortoise (like the one in this photo) when out on a walk.


via the Leader and BBC News

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