11:30AM, Thursday 26 June 2014
Owners of four stolen tortoises have been reunited with another of their beloved family pets.
Gertrude, one of the elderly reptiles, was returned to the Best family in Knowl Hill after a farmer spotted an article about the missing pets in the Advertiser.
She was abandoned outside a farm in Beaconsfield during a storm on Friday, June 13.
The owner of the farm found her and on recognising the pet from the paper, called the National Theft Register.
Richard Best said when his wife, Louise, and their son, Henry, went to collect Gertrude, the farmer said he 'immediately' recognised the teenager from his picture in the paper.
"We are so grateful both to the Advertiser and Gertrude’s very kind rescuer for taking her in but we are still desperately worried about Norah and Henrietta who were taken at the same time," said Richard.
She joins Esme, who was returned to the Pines Veterinary Clinic, where Louise works, after an appeal by the family in the paper in April.
The four tortoises were stolen from a shed at a property in Bath Road, along with an infra-red heat lamp, a hedge trimmer and a chainsaw on April 1.
Each of the spur-thighed tortoises, all believed to be in their 80s, has a different story as to how they came to be adopted by vets Richard and Louise.
Esme, who has a fungal infection on her shell, came to the couple 23 years ago after becoming depressed when she woke up from hibernation.
The family took in Norah after her owner became worried that her dog, who kept knocking the tortoise over, would injure it.
Henrietta, who only has one eye, arrived when her owners emigrated to Australia and Gertrude moved in after her previous owner's arthritis meant she struggled to look after her.
Contact John Hayward of the National Theft Register on 07802404929 or Police on 101 with information.
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