Saturday, September 19, 2009

'Lucky' tortoise proves there is still good in some people

SHOOT: You're risking your life parking on the side of a heavy traffic highway and running onto the road to rescue a tortoise. It's amazing, having been ridden over, the tortoise was, apparently, unharmed. It's great to see some people making an effort to save these vulernable creatures. I know I've done it before. Heaven knows how many birds and other critters are killed by oncoming traffic. Any gesture to limit the damage is to be encouraged and congratulated.
clipped from
John Formby holds Freeway the tortoise Saturday, September 19 in Worthing, England.

"As I get closer to it, it's moving," Formby told CNN. "As I get closer, I recognize it as a tortoise."

Formby said he pulled over onto the hard shoulder of the road and went back to grab the animal.

"As I'm running back, there's a few cars coming up," he said. "About seven or eight cars had gone past it, but two cars had actually gone straight over the top of it. A white van drove over the top of it."

The tortoise had by that point made it from the middle lane to the slow lane, so Formby said he "jumped out (and) grabbed it." The animal didn't seem upset, he said -- "it seemed very determined just to get where it was going."

Freeway is a Hermann's tortoise, a type of small to medium tortoise originally from southern Europe, according to the California Turtle and Tortoise Club. Freeway himself is no bigger than a dessert bowl, Formby said -- about eight inches across and only three or four inches high.

Elliott estimates he's about 10 years old.

"He's very friendly," he said.
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