A runaway tortoise has finally been found a year after he went missing. He is reported to have travelled just over half a mile at an average speed of just 0.00007 mph during the 12-month period.
Tortoise or Houdini?
Maxi, as he is fondly called, had climbed over a 12-inch fence to get away from his enclosure. A year later, his escape attempt was finally foiled after dog walkers spotted him in the middle of a Wiltshire field.
Two local residents, Susie Thomas and Linda Rogers, came across the 14-year-old tortoise while walking the farm owner's dog, just in time, as Maxi could have been crushed by a tractor.
After finding Maxi, they took him home and made a post on Facebook to find out who might be looking for a tortoise.
Behavioural Economics student, Susie said:
We made sure to ask the possible owners to describe their tortoise and send pictures first so we could make sure we would definitely give it to the rightful owner—we were wary that people might just claim it to be theirs.
Lost and found
After three days of searching, they found the owner Ruaidhri Jukes who lives a mere 0.6 miles from the field in Coombe Bissett, Wiltshire, where Maxi was found.
The Hermann's tortoise—who could be distinguished by a distinctive chip on its shell near his head—had been missing since last August.
Jukes said he didn't know how his tortoise had escaped as he was in an outdoor enclosure with wire fencing 12 inches high.
The 23-year-old support worker said:
He would normally spend all day in his enclosure over the summer and I don't know how he escaped—he just was not in there anymore.
Maybe he climbed out but I don't know.
He added he 'really couldn't believe it' when Thomas got in touch to say his tortoise had been found as he had given up hope on finding him.
He has escaped before and been missing for a similar length of time. So, at first, I was confident that he might come back.
But just before he came back, I had basically given up hope but he got found and came back home, it's crazy.
The first time Maxi escaped his enclosure, he was found by Juke's neighbour nine months later as they mowed their lawn.