Tortoise and the scare: Three abandoned reptiles spotted plodding around Spain’s Murcia

THREE tortoises were spotted roaming the streets of Sangonera le Seca, Murcia on Wednesday July 13.

Murcia police said the tortoises had been likely been abandoned by their owner.

They are from the Greek tortoise species, also known as spur-thighed tortoises, which designated an endangered species in Spain.

Tortoise Snip
The tortoises were found roaming the high streets.
Photo: Murcia Police

A law passed in 2015 outlawed owning such a breed of tortoise due to their plummeting numbers, with anyone found to be keeping them as pets liable to receive a hefty fine.

Murcia police said: “The Ecological Patrol recovereda 3 adult tortoise specimens that had been abandoned. We verified that they are spur-thighed tortoises, a protected species.”

After their discovery, the reptiles were transferred to the El Valle Recovery Center where they are being looked after. 

Turtle Snip 2
Photo: Murcia Police.

Thankfully, it appears all three are in good health and it is not thought that they were on the loose for long.

The Greek tortoise is commonly illegally traded as a pet in Morocco and Spain.

Often while waiting to be bought, the animals are not properly housed and looked after, causing a high rate of mortality in captivity.

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