A Palm Paper worker saved a tortoise who was minutes from being “pulped” at the recycling centre after travelling 500 miles in a lorry filled with over 20 tonnes of paper.
The pet is thought to have fallen asleep under a two-tonne pile of old newspapers inside a depot in Silverton, Devon, before hitching a lift to the Lynn recycling plant.
The paper was moved between trucks before finally arriving at a factory to be fed into a giant pulping machine, but just minutes before being churched up, quality inspector Joe Cooper, 47, spotted the shell.
He said: “I thought it was a shoe at first glance because of the shell, but then I saw this little head poking out. She’s been through a lot to get here and will have been scooped up once or twice along the way. She’s a lucky tortoise to have survived!”
Joe named the “lucky” stowaway Tina and contacted the Devon depot to try and find her owner, but has had no luck. After a quick checkover by a vet, which revealed she is not microchipped, Joe took her home, where she is living in his spare room until her owners can be traced.
Joe said: “She’s quite happy at the moment but we’re hoping her owners will come forward. If no-one does she will go to my grandson, but somebody, somewhere must be missing her.
“We’re getting attached to her here, so the sooner the better. There are a lot of people at Palm paper who have their fingers crossed we will find her home.”