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Giant tortoise was hit by train after escaping pet shop ‘to find girlfriend’

Giant tortoise was hit by train after escaping pet shop ‘to find girlfriend’
Clyde has become a ‘shell-abrity’ after being found on train tracks between Norwich and Cambridge

A West African giant tortoise that was hit by a train in Norfolk after escaping from a pet shop should make a full recovery, Network Rail said.

Clyde had gone missing on Sunday morning from Swallow Aquatics pet shop in East Harline and was spotted on the tracks near Thetford on Monday.

The giant tortoise weighs 60kg and measures at 76cm, and had to be lifted 400m to 500m down the track to safety by four rail workers.

Dillon Prest, manager of Swallow Aquatics, 前記: “I think he smashed his way out to freedom because he wanted to find a girl tortoise. I guess he just wanted some female company, and he thought that Norwich was the right place to find some.”

Steve Deville from Network Rail said Clyde was injured in a collision with a train but it was “not life-threatening”.

Train services were cancelled and delayed on the Cambridge-bound line from Norwich after passengers spotted the tortoise on the tracks on Monday.

Mr Deville said: “He was taken to a reptile specialist in North Walsham and the report we received from the owners of Clyde is that he is safe and well.

“He should make a full recovery. Clyde has become a little bit of a ‘shell-abrity’, he has caused quite a stir since the pictures have gone out.”

Giving an update on the tortoise on Facebook, the pet shop said: “As many of you may know tortoises in general are extremely good at escaping.

“Clyde decided he was going to go off for a walk along our meadow and unfortunately found himself on the railway line. He is safe at a vets undergoing treatment!」