Popular tortoise and chicks stolen from Sacrewell Farm

Sheldon was stolen.

Sheldon was stolen. - Credit: Archant

A much loved tortoise and four one-week-old quail chicks were stolen from a Cambridgeshire farm in broad daylight yesterday.

Sheldon, a Horsefield Tortoise which had settled in to hibernate for the winter, and the chicks were taken from Sacrewell Farm and Country Centre, Thornhaugh, at about 2.30pm.

The farm is owned by the William Scott Abbott Trust and attracts about 6,000 school children a year.

Mike Rooney, general manager at Sacrewell Farm, said: “We are shocked and saddened to learn that someone has come into the farm as a customer and has stolen our animals from us.

“It was a very deliberate act and may have been planned so now we are examining evidence and working closely with the police and the public to get the animals returned to us.”

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Sheldon is about eight years old and is a favourite with staff and visitors.

He was donated to the farm as a pet in 2010 and is thought to be worth about £400.

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Mr Rooney said: “We are worried about the welfare of the animals, especially at this time of the year.

“It is dangerous for the health of the tortoise to wake him up when he’s hibernating.

“The chicks are also a worry as they had only just hatched out. They are very small and we had them on a special diet and under heat lamps at all times.

“Thefts from farms are on the increase and we are concerned about our other animals.

“We have stepped up security to ensure that our animals are safe. As a charity we are particularly hard hit and we hope that anyone who visited the farm yesterday and saw anyone acting suspiciously in the Discovery Centre will come forward with information.”

Anyone with information about the animals or who saw someone acting suspiciously is asked to contact Cambridgeshire Police on 101 and quote the crime reference number CF0382361013.

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