A TORTOISE has been rescued after it was found wandering around a Southampton street.

The reptile was found rushing around Dunkirk Close in Lordswood on Friday, July 31, and was rescued by the RSPCA.

A concerned resident of the road spotted the tortoise on the move but despite putting the word out to try to find the owner of the tortoise, the local resident had no luck and contacted the RSPCA for help.

Daily Echo:

RSPCA Inspector Hannah Nixon said: “The householder told me that when the tortoise spotted her, he chased after her and she couldn’t believe how fast he was moving.

"She wondered whether the pink maxi skirt she was wearing may have had something to do with it.

“When I arrived I could see she was spot on - that tortoise could really run.

"This ‘Greek’ or ‘Spur Thighed’ tortoise certainly didn’t live up to his species’ general reputation for slowness.

"I’ve taken him to RSPCA Stubbington Ark Animal Centre where he will be cared for until we are ideally able to find his owner and he can return home.

Daily Echo:

"At the moment we just don’t know if he is an escapee or if he has been abandoned.

"That is why we would ask if anyone has more information please could they call us on our Appeals Line on 0300 123 8018."

Exotic pets, including tortoises, often end up in the RSPCA’s care after people realise they're not easy to care for or once the novelty wears off.

Others are rescued after they have been abandoned, escaped or been released on purpose.

Daily Echo:

"It’s so sad when pets are just abandoned, and if anyone is struggling to care for them, we urge them to contact an reptile expert for advice rather than abandoning an animal to fend for itself," Hannah added.

"Reptiles such as tortoises have no way of keeping themselves warm so abandoning them is particularly dangerous, as it can seriously compromise their health, possibly even leading to death if they aren’t found straight away."