Have You Been Offered a Tortoise in Unusual Circumstances?

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If so, please contact the British Transport Police, who are looking for two hibernating tortoises that were in the trunk of a green Mazda 325 that was stolen on Saturday. “As well as being valuable,” said Constable Kristene Mikkonen, “the owner and I are concerned for the safety and well-being of  the reptiles.” (I assume she meant the tortoises are valuable, no offense to either human.)

They look sort of like this, probably

The reptiles in question were described as two nine-year-old tortoises being kept in a blue plastic box. According to the report, “One was a male of the Greek variety and the other was a female Marginated tortoise.” “Of the Greek variety” presumably refers to the “Greek tortoise” (Testudo graeca), although as you probably know there are many different subspecies in that category. Despite the name, the species ranges from Morocco to Armenia, with at least two having gotten as far as the trunk of a green Mazda in Lincolnshire, England. The marginated tortoise (Testudo marginata) is a closely related species that, confusingly, is mostly found in Greece. Indeed, the predominant subspecies is often referred to as the “Greek marginated tortoise,” and so the report may simply have gotten these confused. Basically, it’s a couple of tortoises in a blue plastic box, okay? Jesus.

Constable Mikkonen (a female of the Finnish variety) appealed to the public for help locating these (apparently) valuable animals. “I would appeal to anyone who has knowledge of their whereabouts,” she said, “or any information for those responsible for stealing the car to get in touch with BTP as a matter of urgency.”

“Also,” she continued, “anyone who is offered tortoises in unusual circumstances should report it.” I’d think that those who are routinely offered tortoises could be even more helpful, so they should please be on the lookout as well.