Missing tortoise home all the time

 

THE 100-year-old tortoise who was missing presumed fled from his home over the weekend has turned up safe and well and covered in muck from a hole he had dug in his own back garden.

Florentine the tortoise became an overnight shell-ebrity after he apparently disappeared from his family home in Rathgar, Dublin, on Saturday evening.

Once his owners, the Eogan family, realised the tortoise, who has been their slow-moving pet for 40 years, had run away they began putting up posters in their neighbourhood appealing for assistance in locating him.

They also contacted the Garda seeking help and launched an extensive social media campaign.

Within hours the case of the missing tortoise had created a storm on various social network sites and the appeal for Florentine’s safe return quickly became the top trending topic on Twitter.

It turns out that the appeals and the worry were much ado about nothing as the tortoise had merely gone underground in an attempt to escape the cold weather.

“He has never done that before so we can only assume that it’s due to the unseasonal weather,” owner Cliona Eogan said last night.

“Before we raised the alarm we did a thorough search of the garden,” she added.

The dramatic breakthrough in the case came yesterday afternoon. The family had spent the morning walking the streets near their home on Brighton Road, hoping to catch sight of their runaway tortoise, and decided to break for lunch. “When we came home he was emerging from the flower beds covered in muck,” she said.

Despite the consternation the tortoise had caused the family, he was still welcomed home with open arms and given a lavish meal of lettuce and cucumber salad followed by fresh Irish strawberries.

Ms Eogan said they were slightly mortified by the turn of events and astonished at how the story had grown legs so quickly. “We were amazed by the speed and extent of the coverage. We are very grateful if a little embarrassed given the outcome,” she said.