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Speedy Trevor sparks Palgrave village search after a great escape

A village community came to the rescue after a giant tortoise escaped from a resident’s garden.

Owner, Marian Dyke, arrived home in Palgrave at 6pm on Saturday August 10 to find Speedy (full name: Speedy Trevor) had done a runner.

“He is pretty strong and is often known to move garden furniture so we have always made sure the garden is secure,” said Marian.

Colin and Marian Dyke with Speedy Trevor. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography
Colin and Marian Dyke with Speedy Trevor. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography

“But he’d literally bulldozed his way through a wire fence and a hedge and disappeared. He can move pretty fast, hence his name, and its also that time of year. He must have been more determined than ever to go out for a wander.”

Marian, and husband Colin, have looked after Speedy for eight years, after being given him as a present by their son-in-law Paul, who runs a reptile shop in Norwich.

Speedy is an African sulcata tortoise. He measures 2ft long by 18 inches wide. He can live for between 70 and 100 years and weighs 4st.

Speedy Trevor can move quite fast
Speedy Trevor can move quite fast

“I’d always wanted a tortoise and so when my son-in-law gave me one for Christmas, I was thrilled,” said Marian, 54, a retail development manager.

“I then found out he was a sulcata, the third largest tortoise breed in the world. He can grow up to 3ft long, 20 inches tall and weigh up to 16st. But we had already fallen in love with him and couldn’t let him go.”

On Saturday, Marian and Colin began a frantic search to find Speedy. The sulcata has his own heated shed with CCTV and security alarms. The couple put up ‘Lost’ posters on lamposts and asked for help on social media.

“We checked the CCTV and he last appeared at 11am, so had been missing almost 12 hours by the time we went to bed. I had a sleepless night and the next day around 20 people joined in the search. People on social media also said they would keep a look out,” said Marian.

Back home: Marian Dyke with Speedy
Back home: Marian Dyke with Speedy

“We live by a cornfield so he could have been anywhere. I was shouting ‘Speedy, Speedy’ as he does know my voice.”

Eventually, at 10.30am on Sunday, Marian received a call from a man who had seen something ‘tortoise-like’ in a nearby meadow.

“We went dashing over but the meadow was behind someone’s house,” said Marian.

READ MORE: Tortoise, 102, guest of honour at Palgrave wedding

“A lady came to the door in her dressing gown, took us out the back – and there he was.

“We can’t thank everyone enough for helping find him.”

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