PETS

90-year old pet tortoise accidentally thrown out with the garbage

Pet owner, Sarah, was horrified to discover Zuma was missing.
Westminster Council

A 90 year old tortoise has been reunited with his owner following a brief trip to the local tip.

Sarah Joiner was horrified to discover her beloved pet tortoise, Zuma, had gone missing from his London home. Zuma, short for Montezuma, had been in Sarah’s care for 40 years and had become a dear companion during her diagnosis with multiple sclerosis. She was desperate to find him.

a pile of black garbage bags
Zuma was somewhere among a thousand garbage bags.

Sarah quickly figured that Zuma must have crawled into a rubbish bag, and wasted no time tracking down the garbage truck to a local waste treatment facility.

The truck was carrying 1000 bags of rubbish that weighed over 10 tonnes – but Sarah was determined. Donning protective gloves, a face mask, and helmet she dove in and started sorting through the piles of trash.

After nearly 3 hours she found him – nestled happily in a pile of lettuce leaves.

Lynn Davis, Contract Manager at Veolia told The Telegraph: ‘This was certainly a different way to spend a Friday afternoon and I’m just relieved we were successful.’

Zuma the tortoise
The 90 year old tortoise was found among some lettuce leaves. (Credit: Westminster Council)

Related stories