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

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

12:40
Taking the plunge for a Valentine's Day dip at Combe Martin

Fundraisers ‘enjoy’ a bracing dip to raise money for Children’s Hospice South West

Read more
12:43
Picture for illustration only.

Fire fighters called to Dry Bridge just after 2am this morning (Sunday)

Read more
Yesterday, 16:08
The Landmark Theatre

Open for Business, the Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe, Friday, March 4

Read more
Yesterday, 16:07
The Lantern Centre. 
 © Copyright Roger A Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Community event at the Lantern Centre on Saturday, February 27

Read more
Fri, 18:28
What could be more romantic...?

Why not celebrate Valentine’s with your sweetheart on Combe Martin beach this Sunday and raise money for Children’s Hospice South West?

Read more
Fri, 13:30
Will schools lose their lollipops?

North Devon’s schools facing the loss of their lollipop patrols from this autumn after council decision today (Friday

Read more
Fri, 13:13

North Devon residents are being asked to ‘Team up to clean up’ in new initiative.

Read more
Fri, 12:33
Catch Fuse ODG at Croyde this June

Main support slots have been announced, with some big acts on the bill.

Read more
Fri, 11:00
Ollie the mind-reading Llama and his owner, Maggie Jee of Peak Hill Llamas. Ref shs 05-16AW 8687. Picture: Alex Walton

Sidmouth animal’s strange powers of prediction

Read more
Fri, 11:00
Ollie the mind-reading Llama and his owner, Maggie Jee of Peak Hill Llamas. Ref shs 05-16AW 8675. Picture: Alex Walton

‘Sidmouth animal can read minds’, says owner

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 1°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

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
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications