Bicester police have cracked a tough case after finding a lone tortoise out for a stroll on Sunday.
The tortoise, who was nicknamed Neil by his rescuers, was found in a garden in Rowan Road after a call came in from a concerned member of the public.
An image of the runaway reptile posted on Twitter generated a big response from local people, and he was successfully reunited with his owner this week.
PCSO Alison Drury said ‘Neil’ had been identified as an adult male Hermann’s tortoise.
House-to-house enquiries were carried out to locate the owner, but without success.
Luckily, the story has had a happy ending after the owner came forward.
The tortoise had not made it very far, having apparently escaped from a garden in the street behind where he was found.
PCSO Drury added: “We had more response on Twitter to this than from anything else.
“Lots of people said they would like to rehome him.”
The tortoise was cared for by Bicester’s PC Chris Russell, who already has his own pet tortoise.
He was said to be happily tucking into meals of lettuce and tomato after his short-lived bid for freedom.
Hermann’s tortoises can reach an age of more than 50 years in captivity.