Rastus - Spur Thighed Tortoise - Testudeo Greca

Hello My name is Rastus,

I am very special, or so Allan the Sanctuary vet and all the Sanctuary Staff keep saying. They think I am maybe 100 to 120 years old. We know I was purchased from a pet shop in in the 1930's and I was an Adult then but where I came from originally nobody knows. I was kept in a British Walled Garden where there was plenty of excellent food and space but I was rarely very warm. I lost one of my eyes and one of my ears over the years.

In 2004 I came to the sanctuary because I wasn't eating and the old Lady who owned me was very worried. The sanctuary staff and Allan the vet worried about me for Months, they fed me with a tube but I didn't want to eat by myself.

They could not find anything especially wrong with me and they gave me a lovely warm space and a Sun Light to sleep under and after about 6 months I felt like eating. I now enjoy eating so much and can finish my food before anyone else. I used to live with an other Tortoise called Willie, she came to the sanctuary with me and we lived together in the beginning, Willie was cold too but she was eating fine and they weren't concerned about her in the same way they were about me.

A couple of months after I started to eat they moved Willie away from me, something to do with Willie not getting enough to eat, I don't know why she had that problem because I always had plenty to eat. I don't miss her, I like my own space and all the food is Mine!

Since I have been at the sanctuary, I have been well enough to hibernate for a few weeks, they don't let me dig under a bush and stay there for 7 months, they put me in a wine cooler at 5.5C and bring me out after 8 weeks, some of the other tortoises get longer, but I did tell you I am Special. I have also grown eggs while I have been at the centre, and Allan the vet helped me lay them, because at my age it is a bit difficult to do by yourself.

I am told that I will live out my life here at the sanctuary, I am a bit concerned that they won't live long enough to look after me though. Jane is the Youngest of the trustees and she hopes to live for another 40-50 years so that might be long enough.

I have spent many months thinking about this letter for you and now I am hungry. If you would like to sponsor me please tell North Wales Reptile and Raptor Sanctuary, by filling in the form below and Email it to Jane@nwrr.co.uk and she will tell you how I'm doing.

Very kind of you to read my story


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