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GBR Press: Gang toddles off with tort

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Posted by: W von Papinešu at Fri Aug 20 06:02:42 2010  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by W von Papinešu ]  
   

THE STAR (Sheffield, UK) 18 August 10 Family's plea after gang toddles off with tortoise (Richard Blackledge)
A Heartbroken family are appealing for the return of their beloved tortoise - stolen at the age of 57.
Toddles, a Mediterranean spur-thighed tortoise, was last seen at the Evans family's home on Lawson Road, Broomhill, nearly a month ago.
The family fear the veteran tortoise may have been taken by opportunistic thieves attracted by his value and potential as a breeding partner.
Toddles was bought for Andy Evans, 56, when he was just four years old, and since then the reptile has moved with him, apart from a spell at his mother Elsie Evans' home in Northampton.
Andy's daughter Katie Sedler, 27, said the theft was "very, very sad", adding: "We're prepared to do anything to get him back."
Katie said: "My dad was in France when we realised he had definitely gone missing. He must have been taken - there's no way he can escape from the garden.
"He's lived in that garden for 10 years - he's never escaped or anything."
Katie said Toddles was her father's childhood companion, and lived in a pen at Elsie's house while he studied at Reading University.
"He was just a couple of days old, we think, when dad bought him. He was very small, you could fit him in your hand," she said.
On moving to Sheffield, Andy, who runs printing firm Inprints, on Garden Street in Sheffield city centre, brought Toddles with him.
Katie said the tortoise enjoyed having the run of the large garden at their old house on Taptonville Crescent, Broomhill.
The family moved to Lawson Road around 10 years ago, where Toddles lives with Andy, his wife Anna, 56, their children Sophie, 29, William, 22 and Jenny, 24, and Sophie's children Molly, five, William, three, and Louis, five months.
"When the weather is bad, Toddles will often dig himself into the ground to keep warm and dry until the weather improves, so it's not unheard of to not see much of him for a couple of days," Katie said.
But Toddles failed to appear when the weather changed to hot, dry and sunny - conditions which would usually see him plodding into the garden to bask on the lawn.
"We have a very secure back garden and a sunken lawn, the only way out is up two steep steps and through a gate, which Toddle can't get out of and never has in the 10 years my parents have been at that address," Katie said. "It seems unlikely he has escaped.''
Katie said Toddles could be worth up to £1,500.
"Some rare ones can be worth up to £6,000. They are quite valuable, particularly the older ones who have grown up in this country. As I understand it they're quite good for breeding purposes."
She said her parents have recently bought a dog, Roger - a cross between a cocker and springer spaniel - who "got on very well" with Toddles.
"I would say Toddles is very nice but slightly grumpy. He's just an old man. Like my dad but in a shell!
"It's a mystery why anyone would want to take it in the first place."
Family's plea after gang toddles off with tortoise


   

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