CONCERN had mounted in the leafy streets of Corsham after a giant tortoise went AWOL last month.

Police issued an urgent appeal after the 80-year-old Hermann tortoise and a European member of the Testudinidae family was believed to have been spirited away from a garden in the cul-de-sac Ivy Field in the town.

Police said the large shelled land-based creature would have been unlikely to have done a runner and described the disappearance as a theft.

The mystery began on May 31 in the late morning or early afternoon when the tortoise didn't check in for lunch.

A search for the native animal of Spain, Greece and Albania was made but to no avail.

However this week the owners of the tortoise valued at £400 said they had recovered the creature after it had slipped into the next door neighbour's garden a few feet from its home.

Police have stood down the search operation.