Police in Suffolk arrested an unusual suspect this week, after detaining a giant tortoise that had wandered more than a mile away from its home.
Titan, a 35-year-old, nine-stone, metre-wide tortoise, was spotted last Friday, June 4, in the town of Kesgrave, near Ipswich, after reportedly escaping from his enclosure.
The runaway tortoise was eventually returned home in the back of a police van, with the owner at a loss to explain how Titan managed to get out in the first place.
Richard Aston told BBC News, ‘There was no sign of the fence being broken, and he can’t jump over it – it’s three feet high,’ and jokingly suggested ‘maybe it teleported out.’
It took three police officers to lift Titan – a pet African sulcata tortoise – into the back of the van, after they were called to the scene by local residents who reported seeing him slowly ambling through the town early Friday afternoon.
Aston was reportedly out at the time, and had no idea that Titan had made a break for it until he was called by police trying to return him.
Posting photos of the arrest to Twitter with the hashtag #slowjustice, Ipswich Police wrote, ‘Thanks again to vigilant members of public in locating this absconder. 9 stone “Titan” was safely returned home. He was too large for the van cell so had to travel wagon side.’
Thanks again to vigilant members of public in locating this absconder. 9 stone “Titan” was safely returned home. He was too large for the van cell so had to travel wagon side #slowjustice #suffolkpolice #1552 pic.twitter.com/6XxvgI8N3I
— Ipswich Police (@IpswichPolice) June 4, 2021
The incident quickly caught people’s attention, with one person posting on Twitter, ‘just glad you didn’t have to call out the shellicopter,’ another joked, ‘is this how the tortoise actually won?’ while a third person called for the tortoise to face the full wrath of the law, writing ‘bang him up the b***ard!’
Thankfully, the police officers went easy on the escapee, and Aston praised their handling of the incident, saying the officers had been ‘lovely’ and ‘went out of their way’ to bring his pet tortoise home safe and sound. He described the whole incident as ‘a bit of a mystery,’ putting it down to ‘just another of Titan’s adventures.’
Aston has since shared images of Titan lounging in the summer sun next to his regular-sized Hermann’s tortoise companion. According to the owner the giant African sulcata is none the worse for his marathon hike, and has gone back to happily wandering around the confines of his garden.
Featured Image Credit: Suffolk Police/SWNS