Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Big surprise for Toby the tortoise

09:00 25 July 2012

'Toby' the tortoise with her 'babies' at An x-ray of 'Toby' Witton Lodge Vets

'Toby' the tortoise with her 'babies' at An x-ray of 'Toby' Witton Lodge Vets

Archant

A trip to the vets reveals half-a-century-old secret.

A TORTOISE won at the fair 50 years ago had a surprise for its owners when it turned out ‘he’ was hiding an unusual secret.

Owner Anne Gray, from Sheepwash, had a hunch as to why ‘Toby’ had not been feeling well and was off his food.

After taking him to the Witten Lodge Veterinary Centre in Northam, her suspicions were confirmed; despite believing him to be male for half a century, Toby was in fact female.

Not only this, but the tortoise was carrying a clutch of nine eggs, and after being given an injection by practice partner Gareth Cross to hurry things along, Toby gave birth the next day.

Mrs Gray inherited Toby from her brother, who kept the creature as a pet for 45 years after winning it at the fair.

She said: “After 50 years, we couldn’t really rename her, but we are glad she is feeling better and is all back to normal now.

“I had a hunch what might have been wrong, as we never really knew for sure if Toby was a he or she.”

According to Mr Cross, tortoises occasionally lay eggs even when they haven’t mated.

Unfortunately there were no babies, but the owners kindly agreed to let the vets keep the eggs and x rays for educational visits to local primary schools.

Mr Cross said: “Tortoises are fascinating creatures.

“This was a rewarding case as it used the most up-to-date rapid imaging technology to confirm a good old-fashioned clinical hunch and, of course, had a good outcome.”

0 comments

Other News Stories

25 minutes ago

Police are appealing for any witnesses to the incident in Tarry Lane, Ilfracombe to come forward, after the victim was left injured.

Read more
09:00

Bid for devolved powers is ‘still on track’ but fresh concerns raised about amount of money being offered to take on new responsibilities.

Read more
09:48

A meeting in Bideford next week will discuss changes to business rates in Torridge from April.

Read more

Police thank the public after finding missing Brixham man in Barnstaple.

Read more
07:00

Support for people with mental health and project to provide volunteer lifeguards among grant recipients

Read more
51 minutes ago

Charity thanks couple for spectacular festive display

Read more
Yesterday, 15:08

Developers have outlined plans for new housing development on fields behind Caddywell Lane in Torrington.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:50

North Devon Magistrates’ Court filed a restraining order after hearing about the domestic assault.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:38

Brewers Fayre in Bideford is set to open next week at Atlantic Park.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:40

Search teams took to the River Torridge this weekend on the lookout for Bideford pensioner Clive Colling, who has been missing since January 1.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 5°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications