Council contractor finds tortoise doing a runner

Published Thursday, 19 July 2018

A tortoise has been reunited with his owner after it was found wandering along Eden Park Avenue, Beckenham.

The 10 year-old male Hermann tortoise called Rossi was spotted last week by an off duty officer who works for Bromley council’s parks and open spaces contractor, Idverde. Rossi was distinctively marked with the number 46 - his owner’s tribute to the world champion grand prix motorcycle rider, Valentino Rossi. After investigations locally and on social media, the travelling tortoise was finally reunited with his owner Tony Lock who lives nearby. 

“It’s great news that our detective work has paid off. We are very aware that pets are members of the family too, and how devastating it is if they go missing. Any help we can give is worth it, which is why we also try to offer some sort of closure to the owners of deceased, un-microchipped cats our street cleaners occasionally find” said Councillor William Huntington-Thresher, Executive Councillor for Environment and Community Services.

“Rossi escaped from the garden and was legging it along the main road - anything could have happened. In a way, Valentino Rossi helped reunite him with me because the ‘46’ transfer on Rossi’s shell, the number of the motorcycle Valentino rides, helped identify him. I’m so glad he was rescued and I can’t thank everyone enough for looking after him and helping me find him” said his owner Tony, who is now considering getting Rossi microchipped.

Thankfully this incident had a happy ending, but if pets are microchipped it makes identification and contact with their owners so much easier and quicker. Cat owners can check if their beloved pet is not microchipped and it goes missing, to see if the council has found them and they can have closure.


Notes to editors:

  • Rossi was found on Sunday 8 July 2018.
  • For media enquiries, please contact Andrew Rogers, Communications Executive on 020 8461 7670 or email