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Sulcata Tortoise Stops Train Service In England

Clyde got loose from Swallow Aquatics where he lives near the train tracks.

The tortoise was found to have been clipped by a train, which caused damage to its shell but he is ok.

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A 110 lb African spur-thighed tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata) that found its way onto railroad tracks in England, stopping three train services in the process, has been rescued from the tracks by workers with Network Rail Anglia.

The tortoise, which was found on the tracks near Harling Road station, which is in the east of England, was found to have been clipped by a train, which caused damage to its shell. Fortunately the tortoise, named Clyde is doing OK and will be returned to its owner, Swallow Aquatics in East Harling.


“One of our team who rescued Clyde was aware of a nearby centre who owned giant tortoises in East Harling and so approached them to ask if they were missing one,” Network Rail Anglia wrote on Twitter. “Local knowledge sometimes pays off and luckily tortoises can’t get too far too fast. Our team had to carry him around 400 to 500 metres to the nearest access point. So he may have walked anywhere between 400 to 600 metres from his home and found himself on the tracks.”

Sulcata Tortoise Care Sheet

Th African spur-thighed tortoise is also known as the sulcata tortoise, is a large tortoise that can exceed 100 lbs. It is native to the southern portion of the Sahara Desert in Africa and is one of the most widely captive-bred large tortoises. They are a long-lived tortoise that requires expert care and a large outdoor enclosure when they reach full size.