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GBR Press: Latest tort theft victim

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Posted by: W von Papineäu at Fri Aug 20 06:05:02 2010  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by W von Papineäu ]  
   

KENT NEWS (Ashford, UK) 18 August 10 Schoolgirl latest victim in tortoise theft racket
A devastated schoolgirl made a heart-wrenching plea for the safe return of her pet tortoises after she became the latest victim of an animal theft racket.
Jasmine Austin,12, was on holiday with family in Cornwall when her tortoises, Speedy and Honey, were taken from her parent’s bee farm on the Isle of Sheppey. Mum Sudi and dad Chris broke the news to their daughter, who attends Highstead Grammar School in Sittingbourne, on Saturday.
Jasmine said: “I was shocked more than anything. Maybe they were stolen to order or maybe someone thought they’d give them a home with their children but they already had a home with us. I just hope they are being looked after properly.
“I’d like to say to whoever took them we are all really missing them and want them back. Please give them back. “
Eight tortoises are believed to have been stolen from The Isle of Sheppey over the last few months, raising fears Speedy and Honey were taken as part of an orchestrated campaign.
John Hayward, coordinator for the National Theft Register for Exotic Animals said: “Over the last few months we have dealt with a number of tortoise thefts, the most recent being two Horsefield tortoises stolen on August 8 from the Isle of Sheppey.
“We are particularly concerned as to whether this is a one off event or part of a series of thefts. It is not the value of these animals that is our main concern but their welfare. They have special dietary requirements and as time progresses they will be moving into a hibernation period.
“We appeal to anyone with information to get in contact especially any pet shops or dealers. These tortoises are quite a common species and are not valuable. When looked after properly they should live for a very long time.”
Speedy and Honey were stolen from their outdoor pen at Flynn’s Bee Farms on Elmley Road. Sudi says the pets, each weighing 500 grams, must have been taken while she and her husband were distracted because the pen was in full view of the shop and tea garden.
She added: “Perhaps the person who took them thinks they will not be missed but I can assure you this is not the case. They are still juveniles so Speedy and Honey travel to work with us every day to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. We have raised them from hatchings and they have a specialised diet. If they do not receive proper care they will become ill very quickly so we are extremely concerned for their well being.
“We miss them terribly and it’s heartbreaking to come home to an empty tortoise table. Jasmine is devastated and keeps looking for them at home but she has put on a brave face to save our feelings. We are very proud of her. ”
Sudi says the family is prepared to pay a reward to anyone who provides information leading to the successful recovery of Speedy and Honey.
Anyone with information should call John Hayward in confidence on 07802 404 929. If YOU have Speedy and Honey you can return them anonymously to the postal box at Flynn’s Bee Farms or drop them to Angela Warder at the RSPCA, Arcadian Cat Hotel, Oak Lane Minster ME12 3QR.
Schoolgirl latest victim in tortoise theft racket


   

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