False hope in tortoise hunt

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The hunt for missing tortoise Charlton, from Kirk-Hallam, continues — and his family are now offering a reward for his safe return.

After two potential sightings, owners of the intrepid pet, Jeanette, Mark and Jake Andrews, have received a third answer to their appeal, but believe it to be a hoax.

Jeanette, a housewife of St Margaret’s Drive, said someone called saying they had found Charlton, a three-year-old Horsfield’s tortoise.

Jeanette added: “We went to their address and there was no one at home - it was at 10pm so we thought it was odd because Charlton would be sleeping.

“He’s like a little solar panel, he only goes out in the sun.

“For next time we would like whoever finds him to look after him so we’re now offering a reward.”

Charlton has a partner, Mable, waiting for him at home. “He is the adventurous one and Mable is less mobile so she stays at home,” said Jeanette.

“We don’t know how he managed to get out - we think Mable must have given him a leg-up over the doorframe.”

He went missing on July 21 and judging by how far he’s gone could be travelling at around 100 yards a day.

Over 40 days into the search, he could now be as far as five miles away from home, possibly following the canal, to Stapleford and Long Eaton.

These habits are typical of expeditionary tortoises.

“They tend to stay near water so we think he’s still following the canal,” said Jeanette.

Charlton and Mable are actually the pets of Jeanette’s son Jake, 25, who lives in Yorkshire but was visiting his parents when Charlton escaped.

Jake has Asperger’s syndrome and Jeanette said his pets are very important to him.

She added: “He misses Charlton very much.”

If you spot a tortoise off his leash call Jeanette on 07786152954.

Charlton may appear dead when sleeping.