Runaway pet tortoise found one year later and half a mile away from home

A tortoise that went missing a year ago was found half a mile away from its home.

Maxi, a 14-year-old tortoise scaled a 12-inch high fence to escape its enclosure, was found by dog walkers in the middle of a field just 0.6 miles from its home in Wiltshire, England- having travelled at an average speed to 0.00007 mph.

Susie Thomas and her neighbour Linda Rogers, who found it, told reporters that they were lucky to have spotted it in time or it could have been crushed by a tractor.

Thomas and Rogers were walking the farm owner’s dog at the time Maxi was found. Thomas told The Telegraph that it was extremely lucky that Maxi was on the same path as them as the field is not a right of way and they had the permission to walk there.

She added that with the harvest coming up, it could have been very sad if it wasn’t found in time.

The duo took Maxi home and fed it food and water before they went to Facebook to inquire if someone was missing their tortoise.

Thomas asked the possible owners to describe their tortoise and send pictures of their pet first as they were wary that people might just claim it to be theirs.

Eventually, after three days of intense search, they found the rightful owner, Ruaidhri Jukes who lives about 0.6 miles from the field in Coombe Bisset, Wilts, where it was found.

Maxi, Hermann’s tortoise with a distinctive chip on its shell, had been missing since August, last year. It is about the size of a small ball with a shell that is about six inches long and six inches wide.

Jukes said he was unaware of how Maxi escaped from an outdoor enclosure with 12-inches high wire fencing. He added that normally, Maxi would spend all day in the enclosure over the summer and maybe he climbed out.

Nearly after a year, Jude had given up hopes of finding Maxi but couldn’t believe it when Thomas got in touch with him.

He described it as ‘crazy’ and said that this is the second time Maxi has escaped. The first time it was found was after nine months by Jukes’ neighbour while they mowed their lawn.

Now, Maxi has returned safely to its home.