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Missing tortoise found across the street six months later

By
Ben Hooper

Jan. 31 (UPI) -- A tortoise that escaped from her owner's garden in England turned up six months later at a school located just across the street.

Leanna Morris of Oxford said her tortoise, Tallulah, flew the coop through a fox hole last July after being placed in the back yard for some free roaming time.

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Morris said she spent weeks scouring the area for her beloved pet and circulated flyers around the neighborhood.

"After a month or so I thought, OK, I need to put all her things away. So I kind of took down her box. I took down her light. I put her food back," she told CBC Radio's As It Happens program. "It felt empty."

Morris said she had no further word of Tallulah until last Wednesday, when three girls at the nearby Cheney School found a stray tortoise on the playground.

"We've had a little surreal morning," the school tweeted. "Some of our Year 7's found a tortoise on site. We've called the RSPCA to collect it. If you hear of anyone local who's lost a tortoise, please ask them to contact us."

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The RSPCA scanned the tortoise for a microchip and was able to identify Morris as her owner.

Morris said the spot where the tortoise was found is only 1,056 feet from where she escaped.

"If you were to cross the road, it would take you less than a minute to get to where she was," Morris said. "It took her ages to get there."

Morris said Tallulah is currently at the veterinarian recovering from malnutrition and a swollen eye.

"The vet has said there is no need for worrying. She just needs to put on a bit of weight, continue with her eye drops and she will be right back where she should be," Morris said. "I'm sure she'll be absolutely pleased to come back knowing that she's got regular food, she's warm, she's dry."

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