Tortoises apparently keep wandering away from home and RSPCA is warning owners to keep a careful eye on their pets.

In Hendon, a tortoise named Rocky was rescued by RSPCA after being found wandering down a road on May 30.

He was taken to the charity’s Putney Animal Hospital where staff found he was microchipped and managed to trace his owners.

But the owners felt they could no longer care for him and he was adopted by a member of RSPCA staff from West Sussex.

The incident is one of 952 cases involving tortoises reported to the RSPCA each year.

The animal charity is reminding all tortoise owners to ensure their pet is microchipped and kept in a secure enclosure.

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Another picture of Rocky. Photo: RSPCA

RSPCA senior scientific officer in exotics and wildlife trade Dr Stephanie Jayson said: “We hear stories like these all too often and our officers are regularly called to collect stray tortoises and escaped pets.

“Tortoise owners often let their pets out in the garden during the summer weather and tortoises can become very active in the warm temperatures and sunshine. It’s really important that owners keep a close eye on their pets when outside or have a secure run to keep them in to keep them safe from other animals, and to ensure they can’t escape.”

Dr Jayson added: “We would urge anyone thinking of getting a pet - whether it’s a hamster, dog, snake or tortoise - to properly research that animal and its needs before bringing one home.

“Tortoises can live for 100 years so it takes a lot of commitment and we urge any potential owners to thoroughly research what is required in the care of the particular species before taking one on. They will need to make sure they can give them the environment they need and that they have the facilities, time, financial means and the long-term commitment to maintain a good standard of care.”

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