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Microchip reminder after giant tortoise found wandering through field
RSPCA animal collection officer Kate Wright with the runaway tortoise.

Finder hauled the enormous animal home in a wheelbarrow

Pet owners are being reminded to ensure their animals are microchipped after a giant sulcata tortoise was found wandering through a field in Hertfordshire.

The tortoise was found by a woman out walking her dog and had to be hauled home in a wheelbarrow owing to its enormous size.

RSPCA animal collection officer Kate Wright, who was called out to the incident, discovered the tortoise wasn’t microchipped. The incident is one of 952 involving tortoises reported to the charity each year. 

“We’d always encourage tortoise owners to get their pets microchipped and to ensure they are kept in a secure enclosure,” Kate added. “While many people think of tortoises as being slow they’re actually quite active and can move at quite a pace when they want to.

“Tortoises also climb, dig and can push their way through barriers so can be good escape artists. We receive almost 1,000 calls every year about tortoises, many of which have escaped from their homes and gone on the run!”

The sulcata tortoise - which can weigh more than 100kg and grow to be up to 80cm long - was eventually reunited with his owner who was advised to get him microchipped.

RSPCA senior scientific officer in exotics and wildlife trade Dr Stephanie Jayson said: “We hear stories like these all too often and our officers are regularly called to collect stray tortoises and escaped pets.

“Tortoise owners often let their pets out in the garden during the summer weather and tortoises can become very active in the warm temperatures and sunshine. It’s really important that owners keep a close eye on their pets when outside or have a secure run to keep them in to keep them safe from other animals, and to ensure they can’t escape.”

Image (C) RSPCA.

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Rare chimp birth announced at Edinburgh Zoo

News Story 1
 The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) welcomed the birth of a critically endangered western chimpanzee on Monday 3 February at Edinburgh Zoo's Budongo Trail.

The baby girl will be named in the coming days through a public vote, and staff will carry out a paternity test during its first health check to determine the father.

Mother Heleen's first infant, Velu, was born in 2014, making this new baby only the second chimpanzee born in Scotland for more than 20 years.

Budongo Trail team leader Donald Gow said: "While we celebrate every birth, this one is particularly special because our new arrival is a critically endangered Western chimpanzee, a rare subspecies of chimpanzee."

Image (c) RZSS/Donald Gow. 

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BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.