Catch me if you can: Pet tortoise found after year on the 'run' - a mile from home and across a rail line

Yahoo News.
Ella Holland with her escapologist tortoise Andy-Bob (SWNS)

A missing tortoise has been found after a year on the run - a MILE away from home and on the other side of one of Britain's busiest rail lines.

Andy the hardcase also crossed a stream and dodged fields of livestock on his adventure after disappearing from seven year-old owner Ella Holland.

The youngster had long since given him up for dead when he vanished from her garden in Brunton, Northumberland last year.

But he was found walking along the side of the road in Christon Bank, a mile away from his cage, by a family friend who recognised him and took him back.

Though his exact path is not known, Andy would have had to have crossed the main East Coast rail line where up to 60 high speed trains thunder past each day.

At peak times, trains travelling between London and Edinburgh pass the spot where he crossed the tracks every eight minutes - at speeds up to 125mph.

It is also likely that the five year-old pet, nicknamed Andy-Bob, would have survived at least three fields full of cattle and sheep.

Ella's dad Mick, said: ‘That tortoise could tell some stories. I honestly presumed he was dead.

‘Five yards away from his pen there is a stream and I thought he had just been washed away.

‘It's remarkable. All the fields he crossed had cattle and sheep in them.  And of course there was the winter, but thankfully that was mild.’  

Ella was given Andy as a present from Father Christmas when she was just three years old, and quickly became attached, even taking him for walks in the garden.

She was devastated when she found he had dug out under the cage and gone missing.

Though a little underweight, Andy is now enjoying life back in his garden and Ella is delighted to have him back.

Mick added: ‘When he disappeared she was devastated. He must have dug under the pen to get out. We just thought he was gone and that was it.  

‘Then a friend of ours, whose children go to school with Ella, was driving home after the morning school run and saw the tortoise walking on the side of the road.

‘The next day at school it was mentioned and Ella said her tortoise had escaped a year ago, it then transpired that it was Andy.  

‘She is happier than happy can be about having him back.  We never ever thought that we would see him again.’  

Andy has now been in to school with Ella for a show and tell session about his adventures.

Tortoises like the adventurous pet have a top speed of around 0.3mph - around ten times slower than the average human.

The pet tortoise disappeared from his family home and spent a year travelling (SWNS)
Map of Brunton, Northumberland where Andy the tortoise went missing from and where he was found (SWNS)
Adventurous Andy, who is looked after by Ella, travelled a mile around Northumberland (SWNS)