Tropiquaria's rescue mission

This is The West Country: ALGERNON and Edward are being looked after by Tropiquaria. PHOTO: Chris Moiser. ALGERNON and Edward are being looked after by Tropiquaria. PHOTO: Chris Moiser.

IT'S not only humans who are suffering from the effects of the recent floods.

On Monday evening, Tropiquaria's Chris Moiser and Jane Basset headed off to Burrowbridge on a rescue mission.

One of the homeowners who had to be evacuated, had a problem with her tortoises, because of their size and heat requirements.

Feeling that Tropiquaria should do something to help, both directors immediately offered to rehome them for the duration. T

he problem was getting them from their home to Tropiquaria.

After making some phone calls, the owner managed to find someone with a boat who was able to get them to somewhere near North Curry where the pair could drive in to collect them.

The tortoises were two African Spurred Tortoises and a Leopard Tortoise.

Chris said:“These are both species that we have experience with and that we have an empathy with.

"In view of the size of the larger two it would be difficult for the average pet keeper to cope in the best of circumstances.

"After almost two hours driving as we tried to get to the rendezvous point by three different routes we eventually met the owner by a road closed sign at the end of a bridge.

"The tortoises had actually spent an hour in a pub being kept warm, and then were brought along a river bank with the biggest wrapped in a sleeping bag, in a wheelbarrow.”

The difficulty with keeping the tortoises warm became apparent to Chris and Jane when they picked them up.

The larger of the trio, Algernon, weighs 70 pounds and is 22 inches long.

Tropiquaria's biggest tortoise before they arrived was Jenny, who was relatively minor in comparison weighing only 20 lbs.

Chris added: "Once we had them in the car it was relatively easy to get back to Tropiquaria and get them into the warm.

"What was amazing was the community spirit and endeavour that had gone into getting those animals to somewhere where we could pick them up."

  • Tropiquaria is open daily from Saturday 15th February. For further details contact Chris on 07751-363198.

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