December 2, 2023

Brighton Journal

Complete News World

Turtle is running – a mile through the busy town

Turtle is running – a mile through the busy town
  • Written by David Knox
  • BBC Scotland Selkirk

photo caption,

Katherine with Tommy the tortoise

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.

photo caption,

Tommy the turtle had traveled over a mile through a busy town before finding her

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.

image source, Gordon Brown/Geograph

photo caption,

Katherine believes that Tommy has arrived at Scotts Place, where he may have received help through downtown

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.

photo caption,

Catherine and her husband, Michael, build fences around Tommy’s pen

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.”