Could you give a tortoise a new home?
PUBLISHED: 17:24 28 April 2019 | UPDATED: 12:42 29 April 2019
Tortoise lovers and potential adopters got the chance to meet and greet the long-living reptiles at a special event.
The Norfolk Tortoise Club hosted a rehoming event at Hethersett village hall today to inspire people to consider adopting one of the unusual pets.
The event featured homeless tortoises, which visitors were encouraged to interact with, as well as a talk about how to take care of them.
Eleanor Tirtasana, a volunteer at the Norfolk Tortoise Club, said: “Due to no fault of their own tortoises often need rehoming due to their longevity and their owners' changes in circumstances. We are currently looking for enthusiastic new homes for over 30 animals.
“If you think you can offer a secure garden space, somewhere to keep a tortoise warm in bad weather and a natural diet of weeds and flowers, you could be suitable.”
The Norfolk Tortoise Club was formed by Norfolk tortoise lover Leonard Coe, who was concerned about the widespread misinformation available to owners. Now the club has more than 3,000 members from across the region and regularly arranges for tortoises to be re-homed all over the UK.
From its base at Hethersett Village Hall, the group hosts regular open days, health check events and talks about everything from species identification to hibernation.
Ms Tirtsana said: “It has never been more important to exchange knowledge and help improve welfare of the UK's pet tortoises.
“There is an increasing population of legally captive-bred tortoises as well as an aging population of wild-caught imported tortoises that have been resident in the UK for many decades.”
Tortoise ownership is governed by a number of laws, which mean prospective owners must obtain a permit before taking a tortoise into their home. Under EU law it is illegal to capture and take home a wild tortoise.
The Norfolk Tortoise Club works with new owners to ensure they are compliant with the law and are equipped with the knowledge needed to properly care for their new pet.
To find out more about the club visit tortoiseclub.org