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Weekly photographer rescues tortoise for namesake

A weekly photographer helped to rescue a missing tortoise and reunite it with its owner – who happened to share the same name as him.

Jonathan Smith, a photographer for the Rutland and Stamford Mercury, saw the 7in tortoise called Ken in the road after having to swerve to avoid him.

The Hermann’s tortoise belonged to motoring journalist Jonny Smith, a presenter on TV programme Fifth Gear, and Jonathan reunited the beloved family pet with him – after first taking it to a film festival.

The tortoise, pictured below, had gone missing from Jonny’s garden in Uffington earlier this month and this led to a large-scale appeal to find him.


Following Jonathan’s discovery of the missing pet, the Mercury reports that he enquired about who owned the tortoise with neighbours but no-one knew who owned it so he took Ken with him to Burghley Film Festival where he was heading to watch The Duchess and The King’s Speech.

The photographer also shared the lettuce from his picnic with the tortoise.

Jonny tweeted about the discovery: “Tortoise update. Ken the lost tortoise is alive and well and has been to a film festival. I kid you not. Being brought home tomorrow.

“Many thanks to everyone for their tweets and grapevine activity. Weirdly, Ken the tortoise was rescued from certain roadkill by a Jonathan Smith.”

Jonathan took the tortoise to the vets to see if it was tagged and returned it to its owners after seeing their appeal online.

Jonny added: “It is ironic I drive fast cars for a living and I have lost one of the slowest animals in the world.”