Motorway rescue for tortoise in the fast lane

A tortoise with a taste for life in the fast lane was rescued from a busy motorway after dodging up to six lanes of traffic against the odds.





The tortoise was plucked from the M23 slip road at junction seven of the M25 by site engineer John Formby of Worthing, West Sussex.



After taking it to the vet, Mr Formby was surprised to discover the animal was micro-chipped in America and thousands of miles from his original home.



He said: "As I got to the top of the slip road I noticed something in the road. At first I thought it was debris, but as I was getting nearer I saw a head and realised it was in fact a tortoise. My initial reaction was 'What the hell is a tortoise doing on a motorway?'



"I thought it might cause an accident with people trying to avoid it so I pulled over, put my hazard lights on and ran 400 yards down the hard shoulder.



"Some other cars were coming up and a couple went round the tortoise. Two cars and a van drove straight over it, straddling it, but it didn't go back into its shell.



"By the time I'd run back, it had got into the slow lane. I ran out picked it up and put it into the foot well of my car."



Mr Formby, 43, stopped off at a supermarket to buy it some tomatoes and lettuce before dropping it into Grove Lodge Veterinary Hospital in Worthing on Wednesday afternoon.



He said: "It was shocking to find it on a motorway, I was really surprised. When I was a child I found a tortoise in a cemetery and it brought back those memories."



Billy Elliott, of Worthing and District Animal Rescue Service said the tortoise had been nicknamed Freeway, the American word for motorway.



He said: "We were delighted when we found he was micro-chipped so we could notify the owners he was safe. When we rang the company they told us it was a foreign microchip, which most likely came from America.



"He's very friendly and in good condition. He must be someone's pet and the family have relocated from abroad and brought him with them. He's very lucky to have survived. It would be the icing on the cake if we could reunite him with his owners."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Analyst - 12 Month FTC - Entry Level

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Chefs - All Levels

£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...

Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Engineer

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive & Customer Service - Call Centre Jobs!

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy