Kent

Delight over runaway 109-year-old Dover tortoise's return

Toby the tortoise Image copyright Wendy Stokes handout
Image caption Toby had been rescued from the road by a passerby and re-homed in Margate

A woman has spoken of her "absolute delight" at being reunited with her 109-year-old pet tortoise, 11 months after he disappeared.

Toby went missing from Wendy Stokes' garden in West Hougham near Dover on 19 May after she left the gate open.

The 74-year-old said she had given up hope of seeing him again until a man from Margate called her last week to ask "if she'd lost anything".

He tracked her down after noticing the name Stokes was painted on his shell.

Image caption Wendy Stokes said the people who took Toby in had taken "so much care" of him

Unbeknown to Mrs Stokes, her centenarian pet had been rescued from the road by a passerby in May, taken to an animal centre and then re-homed 24 miles away in Margate a few months later.

She said she was "absolutely delighted" to have him back.

"They're funny sort of pets but you do miss them when you haven't got them," Mrs Stokes added.

"They'd taken so much care over him, finding out what tortoises need and making the run with a heater because some tortoises hibernate and some don't.

"They'd really, really put themselves out."

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