Tortoise who loves headbutting shoes reunited with owners of 50 years

A pet tortoise was reunited with his owners of 50 years thanks to his penchant for headbutting shoes.

Owners David and Sylvia Clouder, from Southampton, said they “feared the worst” when they could not find Tommy after he went missing on July 30.

David and Sylvia Clouder with their tortoise, Tommy
David and Sylvia Clouder with their tortoise, Tommy

But after seeing an RSPCA appeal about a lost tortoise in their local paper, they got in touch and were reunited with their pet – in part thanks to their knowledge of his unusual habits.

RSPCA Inspector Hannah Nixon said: “It was easy to confirm that Mr and Mrs Clouder were Tommy’s owners.

“The giveaway was his markings but also because he likes to headbutt shoes and that’s something only the owners would’ve known!”

Tommy had wandered a couple of blocks from his home and was spotted by a local resident who reported her find to the RSPCA on July 31.

Tommy the tortoise
Tommy the tortoise

Mr and Mrs Clouder said: “We are so happy to have him back.

“He’s been with us for 50 years, and has some funny little habits, like headbutting shoes and nibbling shoelaces and the bottoms of trousers. We love him to bits.

“We are so grateful to the local resident who first spotted him on the street, and would like to thank the RSPCA for rescuing him and then looking after him so well at their Stubbington Ark Centre.”