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

Ian Roome, fundraising manager; Andrew Spear, Morgan Sindall project manager; David Wilson, architect; James Bonetta, of NDCCCT; Phil Humphreys, NDDH facilities; Rae Reynalds, operations manager.

It’s taken four years of fundraising, but thanks to your support, North Devon’s brand new £2.2million treatment unit opens today (Monday).

Read more
The sheep escaped onto the A39 on Sunday morning near Abbotsham, Bideford. Picture: The BIG Sheep.

A flock from The BIG Sheep made a break for it yesterday (Sunday) but were safely rescued from the main road.

Read more
13:24

Developers seek to turn part of the pub into housing with new application

Read more
Denise Short, The Champ's manager, and Paul Stewart-Reed, Clearwater’s head brewer.

Appledore pub given new lease of life after being taken over by Bideford brewery.

Read more
Gale force winds are forecast for the festive week ahead.

Region can expect strong gusts in exposed and coastal areas through tonight (Monday) and tomorrow.

Read more
The proposed hotel in Westward Ho!

Councillors will once again be deciding the fate of the luxury £3million development proposals for Westward Ho!

Read more

Fire fighters received reports of a boiler exploding at Swimbridge property on Saturday.

Read more
Computer

Join us on Wednesay evening (April 1) for your chance to grill the Torridge election candidates from 7pm-9pm.

Read more
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Scenes from the big Chemo Appeal Abseil at Heanton Church.

Fundraisers defy gravity to help swell Chemotherapy Appeal funds at Heanton Punchardon abseil event.

Read more
Saturday, March 28, 2015
DI Praveen Naidoo, with some examples of the scam letters received by a North Devon person. Picture: Sarah Howells

Operation Jessica gears up for day which could result in rise of scams across North and West Devon.

Read more

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 8°C

Most Read News

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
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

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



North Devon's trusted business finder