RSPCA appeal after tortoise found in Melton Country Park
RSPCA officers have sounded an appeal to find the owners of a tortoise, which was found wandering in Melton Country Park and which they say was in an extremely vulnerable position.
They are unsure if the reptile escaped or was abandoned by its owner and are thankful to a park visitor who spotted it off Wymondham Way on Monday and notified them.
The animal is believed to be young and was found with a small scuff to the shell but otherwise is healthy.
RSPCA inspector Sally Kearns, who collected the tortoise, said: “The weather is still a bit too cold for this tortoise to be outside, and we are grateful that a member of the public noticed and called the RSPCA.
“We don’t know for sure if this tortoise escaped or was abandoned, but the RSPCA receives many calls about reptiles - like tortoises - being abandoned because people were unaware of how much of a commitment they are when they take them on.
“Reptiles may look resilient and tough on the outside but they are actually completely reliant on their owners to provide for their welfare needs, and without proper care they can become ill and suffer.
“If a reptile becomes too cold, for example, they may be unable to feed or move normally and their immune system will not work properly to fight disease, meaning the animal can become very ill.
“They need a specific environment with humidity, lighting and temperature gradient at the correct levels for the species in order to be healthy and a lot of people don’t realise what they are taking on when they buy them.
“Tortoises like this one can also live for over 50-years, so it really is a long-term commitment.”
It is possible to microchip tortoises and the RSPCA would recommend that owners ask their exotics vet to do this, so that tortoises can be easily reunited if lost and found.
If anyone has any information about this one, or if they believe this could be their tortoise, they are asked to contact the inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.
To help the RSPCA keep rescuing animals and continue our vital work through these unprecedented times, donations can be made online at www.rspca.org.uk/covid