- Written by David Knox
- BBC Scotland Selkirk
The owner of a runaway tortoise is tightening security after her 60-year-old pet has arrived at the other end of the busy Border Town.
Katherine Scott is still unsure how Tommy crossed at least three busy roads, a city center, and a footbridge to end up about a mile from home.
But the Selkirk legal services officer didn’t take any chances anymore.
“We reinforce his pen by building up the wire mesh and creating a bump,” said Catherine.
Despite taking care of Tommy for 40 years, Katherine can only recall two previous escapes prior to this summer.
He was found a short distance from his escape in 2017 – first on a nearby road, then in a neighbour’s garden.
During his great two-day escape last week, Tommy made it to the other side of Selkirk.
Catherine explained: “We were away in Arran for a long weekend and a friend was looking after him.
“It was not in his pen when we returned Sunday evening, and despite searching in and around our garden, he could not be found.
“I made a Facebook post for friends looking for him and the next evening I got a message saying he had been found wandering the grassy area outside the Riverside Nursing Home – at the other end of town.
“We believe he made his way to the High Street and someone helped him with the rest, although we are unlikely to know for sure.”
It is estimated that turtles can travel up to 1 kilometer (about half a mile) every three or four hours.
But Tommy still had to maneuver his way through busy Scotts Place, the High Street and the main A7 before descending on either Green or Forest Road to reach Etric Water.
He also had to cross the road or footbridge to get to the Bannerfield area where he was found on Monday night.
Within days of being returned to his pen, Tommy made another attempt at freedom at the end of the week.
This time he was found later in the day wandering in the bushes below a neighbour’s garden.
Catherine added: “The neighbors are landscaping their garden so he was lucky.
“There is an excavator working there and they are spraying all the overgrown lawn areas.
“I hope this will be our last drama with Tommy.”
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