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Hand-sized bladder stone removed from a 95-year-old tortoise

10:40 10 June 2014

Ossie the tortoise

Ossie the tortoise's bladder stone. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2014

All-things tortoise will be the subject of a special charity afternoon at a North Walsham vet’s next week.

Vet Faye Bethell at Toll Barn Vets, North Walsham, looks at the bladder stone in Ossie the tortoise's x-ray.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYVet Faye Bethell at Toll Barn Vets, North Walsham, looks at the bladder stone in Ossie the tortoise's x-ray. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Toll Barn Veterinary Centre, on Heath Road, is holding the event in aid of the Tortoise Circle of Friends (Norwich and Lowestoft) which helps care for and re-home tortoises who are lost, abandoned or who have outlived their owners.

The event, on June 21 from noon to 4pm, will see two vets and two nurses on hand to offer free health checks and advice to owners and would-be owners.

For £15 owners can get their pets microchipped and for £5 they will be wormed.

One of the practice’s patients was Ossie, the 95-year-old female tortoise who was a lot happier and livelier after vet Faye Bethell removed an
enormous bladder stone.

Tortoise facts

• A tortoise’s shell is made up of 60 different bones.

• Tortoises have extremely strong mouths but are toothless. Instead they have horny-type beaks.

• A tortoise lives on average from 90 to 150 years.

• Female tortoises are usually larger than males.

• Giant tortoises can grow up to five feet long and can weigh more than 500lbs.

• The oldest surviving giant tortoise is believed to be Jonathan, who lives on the island of St Helena and is thought to be 182 years old.

A tortoise eats grass, ferns, flowers, tree leaves and fruit.

They hibernate in winter and starve themselves beforehand so their stomachs are empty ready for the big sleep.

• For more information about the tortoise event contact


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