A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

Tortoise’s Not-So-Long Journey

Two years and a mile and a half later

Lottie the tortoise is home safely — two years later and a mile and a half down the road.

Lottie disappeared from home, in Essex, England, just two days after she’d been given to a 9-year-old girl as a first pet.

Lottie decided that the grass was greener on the other side of the fence in the school playing fields adjoining the family’s backyard. The family searched for Lottie, but eventually gave up.

Then, 22 months later, a tortoise was seen plodding down a road on the other side of the playing fields. She was taken to the local veterinarian, who scanned her for a microchip and was able to call the family with the good news. Despite having to fend for herself and dealing with one of the coldest winters on record, Lottie was in fine form.

“I couldn’t believe it was her,” said Maddie, now 10 years old. “I thought [at first] it must be another tortoise, but I’m so pleased to have her back.”

The family has been checking exit holes in the backyard