A MISSING tortoise has been returned to his rightful owners after being found five miles from home.

Tommy the Hermann tortoise is now safely back at the Salvation Army Hadleigh Farm Rare Breed Centre after being found in Hockley Woods yesterday.

Tommy had last been seen during a birthday party on Monday. Staff and volunteers discovered he was missing at the end of the day - the team believed he had been stolen.

Emma Sayer, Rare Breed Centre manager, said: “Tommy was kindly handed into Medivet, Hockley. Charlotte the veterinary nurse and Natasha the student nurse found his microchip and managed to trace him back to Hadleigh Farm.

“Although initially a little confused and hungry, Tommy is now warm, fed and back with friends Tammy and Pebbles.

“A huge thank you to all those that shared his story and helped bring him home!”

Tommy, a Hermann tortoise, lives at Hadleigh Farm Rare Breed Centre, a Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) Conservation Farm Park. The centre reopened to the public on 25 March and combines The Salvation Army’s commitment to environmental conservation with family fun.

The Salvation Army, an international Christian Church and charity, is currently getting ready for their annual Easter egg hunt around the farm, using wooden eggs created and decorated by the timber and wellbeing departments at Hadleigh Training Centre.

Animals taken care of include rare ponies, sheep, pigs and goats. In partnership with Hadleigh Training Centre, the Rare Breed Centre offers work experience in animal care for adults with additional support needs.

For more information about Hadleigh Farm and upcoming events, please visit www.hadleighfarm.org.uk or follow @Hadleigh Farm on Facebook.