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Can anyone help me find my anorexic tortoise?

posted 15 Jun 2009, 06:45 by David Rintoul   [ updated 15 Jun 2009, 07:02 ]

There  was certainly no need for an urgent search party when Susie Agnew's beloved pet Alfie went missing.

After all, even if he was making a dash for it, it seemed unlikely that a 20-year-old tortoise would have got far.

But with Alfie still AWOL six weeks on, she is growing increasingly worried – because he's also anorexic.

The six-inch-long tortoise has lived with Mrs Agnew for 18 years, and has never been able to hibernate because he doesn't have enough body weight to see him through the winter.

The fussy eater even spent several weeks at the Dick Vet hospital last year because of his anorexia, and on his return home Mrs Agnew had to feed him baby food through a tube to keep him alive.

Now she encourages him to eat by putting him under a heat lamp and giving him warm baths, both of which pep him up just enough to nibble a few of his favourite green leaves sprinkled with a nutritional supplement.

And Mrs Agnew, 57, is concerned that even if Archie has been found, his new owners will struggle to get him to eat.


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