A COVENTRY pensioner, 82, is ‘so relieved’ after being reunited with her beloved lifelong pet tortoise Tommy who was stolen last week.
As we reported, Allesley Park resident Yvonne Machin issued a desperate appeal to find her pet tortoise of 68 years after it was snatched from her front garden.
She told us she was horrified to see a schoolboy take her ‘sole companion’ Tommy on Tuesday (May 7).
There was an outpouring of support for Ms Machin who offered a reward of £100 for Tommy’s safe return.
And on Saturday (May 11), we were told Tommy had been found in a nearby garden – much to the relief of Ms Machin.
The incident was reported to the police and the Allesley Park community has been vital in helping Ms Machin locate the missing reptile and supporting her through an ‘exhausting ordeal’.
Fellow Allesley Park resident and editor of a community newsletter, Pauline Venables, said: “Tommy is back.
“We think that the kids got spooked and dumped it next door.
“Everyone is so relieved that he is home safe.
“I was with her (Ms Machin) on Saturday and she was relieved, exhausted, over the moon but she needs some time to recover.”
Ms Machin of Pyt Park just off Pangfield Park told us last week: “I’ve had her since I was 14. She’s moved and travelled with my family and grown up with my children.
“She was one of us. She means the world to me. She was just lovely.
“I would go out in the garden and she would walk across if she saw me coming.
“And I would sit there and feed her her grapes.”
Describing the moment her Tortoise was taken from her, Ms Machin said: “I was sat in my dining room which looks out on to my front garden.
“The schoolchildren started coming up and these two boys – one with a green jumper on – leaned over my fence.
“I thought they were just going to look but one of them picked the tortoise up with two hands and left.
“I couldn’t believe it. I just didn’t know what to do, because I can’t run obviously. I got out there but they had gone.”
Most tortoises can live to between 80 and 150 years – and they are the longest living animal species in the world.