4 min read

Tiny Tortoise Reunites With Family A Month After Getting Lost

“I’m so curious as to what on earth Herman has been up to for the last 28 days.”

A little tortoise named Herman is now safe and sound back at his home in Cambridge, England — after over a month on the run.

On July 6, Herman was outside in the garden playing with his family. They turned around for one minute, and the little tortoise had vanished.

His mom, Lyndsay Ward, searched the neighborhood far and wide. She put up posters, put out pleas on Facebook and called friends to spread the word about her lost shelled friend — but no one had seen Herman anywhere.

tortoise rescue england
Herman resting with a snack of greens | RSPCA

Days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into a month — until one day, Ward heard something peculiar out in the garden. She was heartbroken after many weeks without him, but didn’t want to give up hope.

“I heard this scratching noise, and knowing the sound tortoises make, I just knew it was Herman,” she told Cambridgeshire Live.

Ward and her partner Matt were instantly drawn to a pipe that sticks out above the ground in the garden. They’d searched it previously, but figured it was far too small for Herman to have climbed into.

tortoise rescue england
The patio where Herman was last seen | RSPCA

That’s just where he was — and had been for the past 28 days.

The pair started to rip up the patio and start digging, desperate to rescue Herman as soon as possible. They soon called the local RSPCA for backup, and an officer rushed over right away to help.

The RSPCA officer jumping into the pit | RSPCA

After digging almost 3 feet down into the ground, the officer uncovered the pipe. With a bit more maneuvering, Herman was reunited with his family.

While they move quite slowly, tortoises are actually expert escape artists — and are able to quickly burrow under fences or other small spaces undetected.

tortoise rescue england
RSPCA

Herman was likely having a grand time digging around at first, until he realized he was trapped.

Luckily, Herman is doing well after his month underground and was more than ready to settle back home with some leafy greens. He’ll still be allowed into the garden for playtime, but he now has a secure pen to walk around in.

tortoise rescue england
RSPCA

“It really is a miracle he was rescued,” Ward said. “We have no idea where that pipe leads to, and I’m so curious as to what on earth Herman has been up to for the last 28 days.”

To help more pets reunite with their families, you can make a donation to the RSPCA.