Boy, 9, reunited with pet tortoise seven months after she disappeared
Harvey Dean-Evans' pet tortoise Mary went missing from his home in Wigan last August.
A schoolboy has been reunited with his pet tortoise seven months after she disappeared.
Harvey Dean-Evans hadn't seen Mary the tortoise since she went missing from his home in Wigan last August.
The nine-year-old and his mum and dad, Jodie and Ryan, searched frantically for her but had given up hope as she would usually only hibernate for two to three months.
But last week, an Electricity North West (ENWL) engineer found the pet while clearing litter from an 11,000-volt electricity substation.
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ENWL engineer Ben Baxendale knocked on nearby doors and the first person he spoke with was Harvey’s grandmother who instantly recognised Mary.
Mum Jodie said: “There was all sorts of emotions when we saw Mary, it was such a heart-warming moment to see the smile on Harvey’s face.
“He’s really into his animals and loves everything about nature, he was devastated when Mary had gone missing but seeing his reaction when she was found made a few of us cry.
“I honestly can’t thank Ben and Electricity North West enough, they really did make Harvey’s day.”
Jodie, who also has pet turtles and terrapins, admitted the family’s hopes of finding Mary were dashed after a freezing winter.
She added: “It’s fair to say nobody in the family thought we’d ever see Mary again, given the weather and the time missing, we just thought there’s no chance."
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Ben said at first he thought it was some sort of toy on the floor but then saw the tortoise move and retract its head into its shell.
He said: “It was certainly a strange one and something I’ve never dealt with before, I put the tortoise in a bucket and thought I’d knock on a few doors but knew if it wasn’t anybody’s we’d have to find it a home for the weekend.
“We always make it clear that no one should ever enter our substations – they have ‘danger of death’ signs on for a reason – but this is the first time I’ve seen a trespassing tortoise! I’m just delighted we could return her safely to where she belongs.”
Despite the long hibernation, Mary is now resting back at home as she becomes more accustomed to normal life.