Happy ending for Speedy, the tortoise

SPEEDY the wandering tortoise has been reunited with his owner - 97-year-old Muriel Barker.

Kate McGrath

SPEEDY the wandering tortoise has been reunited with his owner - 97-year-old Muriel Barker.

The 45-year-old tortoise disappeared from his home in Main Road, Kesgrave, on Monday and was spotted by eagle eyed estate agents who saw him wandering into the main road.

He was taken to the Orwell Veterinary Group in Kesgrave where he befriended a wayward racing pigeon, who had also sought refuge at the animal hospital.

Mrs Barker's granddaughter, Tina Keeble, of Swilland, spotted the story about Speedy in the East Anglian Daily Times on Thursday and contacted the vets.

Speedy and his female companion have been family pets for about 45 years, and have become an important part of the family, with four generations enjoying them.

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Mrs Barker said: “He must have gone through the house, as on Monday it was such a hot day I had the front and back doors open, and he must have marched out the front door.

“I was so worried about him and his female tortoise girlfriend has been pining for him. I had been really anxious about what could have happened to him.

“But it's lovely to hear he has been looked after by the staff at the vets and he's now even found a new gourmet food - fruit flavoured baby food.

“I am just so relived to have him back, I was worried sick and couldn't sleep, it is lovely to have him home.”

Mrs Keeble added the family's thanks to all those involved in ensuring the safe return of her grandmother's beloved pet.

“We are so grateful to everyone, Kyra Swire, the lady who actually found him, and also to Laura at Orwell vets for everything they did.

“We are just so glad to have such a happy ending, she is chuffed to bits. When you have had a pet that long they become part of the family.

“She had them when my mum was growing up, and when I was a little girl and my 17-year-old daughter has played with them during her childhood too.”

The pigeon that was also being cared for by Orwell Veterinary Group is now in the safe hands of secretary of the Ipswich Racing Pigeon Association and its owner is being traced.