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Family stunned after its missing pet tortoise turns up 2 years after disappearance — a few miles from home

A tortoise has turned up two years after it went missing from its home — and the pet’s family is glad and relieved to have her back.

Jemima the tortoise, age 50, managed to make a “slow getaway” from the home of Charles Waddell in May 2021, leaving the man’s eight-year-old daughter, Beatrice, devastated, the British news agency SWNS reported. 

The family, of Haydon Bridge, Northumberland, England, spent months looking for Jemima every day, as well as posting about her on social media.

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After phoning the veterinarian’s office and sending over a picture of Jemima, the family was “stunned” when Jemima’s identity was confirmed, SWNS reported.

Daughter Beatrice, who is now 10 years old, has been happily reunited with Jemima. 

Dad Charles Waddell said the entire family was “devastated” when Jemima went missing.

So how did the hard-shelled escape artist make a getaway?

He also said, “She obviously managed to keep herself well-fed.”

Jemima wasn’t found far from her home, as things happened.

A girl holding a tortoise

Daughter Beatrice holds Jemima, above left; Jemima is also pictured at right. The family is thrilled that their pet has been found. (SWNS)

“She had been found at an equestrian center around five miles away,” said Waddell.

“We knew we’d have to get very lucky to ever see her again.”

In an interesting twist, the family had been close to finding Jemima just six weeks after she originally went missing.

Four to six weeks after Jemima disappeared, “an online post said a tortoise had been found on the road about half a mile from our house,” Waddell said.

Two tortoises in grass

Jemima and Georgina are shown in the Waddell family’s back garden, in a secure and upgraded pen.   (SWNS)

“We tracked down the person who had found her, only to be told that she had been taken to the nearest house — but as nobody was in, they had left her in the garden.”

He also said, “We would go out after school each day and check fields and by the roadside, but we knew we’d have to get very lucky to ever see her again.”

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Jemima has “certainly been on a real adventure for the last couple of years,” Waddell noted.

He added that the family will be “keeping a closer eye on her from now on.”

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