September 28th, 2016

‘Shell-shocked’ stolen 60-year-old tortoise safety returned home

Updated: 12:12 pm, Aug 05, 2015

A 60-YEAR-OLD Coventry resident who was taken from his home against his will has been reunited with his 94-year-old guardian.

Thanks to officers from Coventry Police, Jean McCluskey’s missing sexagenarian pet tortoise has been returned to her safe and sound after he was stolen from her Stoke home.

The pensioner was left devastated after the tortoise, which had become a beloved member of the family after being purchased by her and her husband in the 1950s, was nowhere to be found.

And following the death of her husband earlier this year, the loss of the ever-present vertebrate hit her even harder.

Turning to the police for help, the McCluskey family discovered the tortoise had not been seen since a friend of Mrs McCluskey’s late husband had visited the house on Monday, July 27.

Following an afternoon of reminiscing the 53-year-old lady had left abruptly as she was clearly not leaving alone – taking the tortoise with her and hiding him in an upstairs bedroom of her house.

Following a search of her property by officers, the pet was found and returned to his rightful home by investigating officer PC Jonathon Baker just two days after his disappearance.

Speaking about the ‘kidnapping’, PC Baker explained the neighbour had been under the impression that Mrs McCluskey was unable to look after the tortoise and had taken it upon herself to look after him.

He added: “This idea was completely misguided and refuted by the love and welfare clearly on display.

“Mrs McCluskey has agreed not to press charges against the lady and instead asked officers to take an approach we call a community resolution.

“The only condition she asked for was an apology from the suspect.”

On returning the tortoise home, officers also discovered that in his 60 years as a pet he had never been given a name.

But, as way of showing her gratitude Mrs McCluskey decided to name him ‘Badger’ in honour of PC Baker.

“I had told Mrs McCluskey that my nickname was Badger”, PC Baker explained.

“In part because it sounds similar to my name, but mainly a friendly reference from my peers to the fact my hair has gone grey a little prematurely.

“Badger might not seem the obvious name for a tortoise but it is an honour I’m very proud of.

“Mrs McCluskey is an amazing person and it had been a privilege to have met her.

“Sitting and listening to her family memories it was clear how much the tortoise meant to them all.

“There wasn’t a dry eye in the house and I’m so glad this story has a happy ending.”

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