August 14, 2016

"A pet owner was forced to rifle through 1,000 bags of rubbish when her 90-year-old tortoise hitched a lift in a bin lorry and ended up at the local tip."

So says the UK Telegraph — could you tell it was British? — but the lady did not singlehandedly search the rubbish from the bin lorry before it ended up in the local tip.
Using satellite tracking, the council tracked down the refuse lorry to a waste treatment facility.... After dressing in protective clothing, Mrs Joiner and staff used a thermal imaging camera to hunt for the lost tortoise amid 1,000 bags of rubbish. 
How much tax money was spent looking for a turtle that a lady let get into her garbage? But we're expected to feel heart-warmed. It's not even my tax money, but this irks me. The tortoise was 90 years old. I'd say it lived a long, good life. Let the government conserve its funds for spending that benefits young turtles.
He was eventually found amid a pile of lettuce leaves and plucked to safety.
They're always after the lettuce, these turtles. How about the lettuce that is money? Don't spend it on elderly turtles!

39 comments:

Once written, twice... said...

Sorry Ann, but All Turtle Lives Matter.

rhhardin said...

used a thermal imaging camera to hunt for the lost tortoise

Turtles take on the temperature of the lettuce.

rhhardin said...

Pet turtles are always flipping each other over or getting stuck behind the toilet.

jake said...

So was this a tortoise that identifies as a turtle or vice versa? I see both terms used, but they are different creatures.

john mosby said...

It's a good training exercise for the day when they'll have to look for a human in the trash trucks or dump. Same goes for the heartwarming stories of rescuing animals from drains, iced-over lakes, etc. Better to figure it out for the first time when it's just an animal life at stake.

JSM

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hagar said...

Stepped out my front door Friday evening, and there was a greenish box turtle on my walk munching on a weed. Called my neighbors, but none of them had a turtle pet, and when I looked out in the front yard again, he was gone.
I have not seen a box turtle before since some 50-odd years ago we ran into their "night of love" somewhere in Kansas or the Oklahoma panhandle; the highway was just covered with them, and they either got smashed under the wheels or sent spinning off into the dark.

Ann Althouse said...

@jake Via Wikipedia: "The American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists uses "turtle" to describe all species of the order Testudines, regardless of whether they are land-dwelling or sea-dwelling, and uses "tortoise" as a more specific term for slow-moving terrestrial species.[1] General American usage agrees; turtle is often a general term (although some restrict it to aquatic turtles); tortoise is used only in reference to terrestrial turtles or, more narrowly, only those members of Testudinidae, the family of modern land tortoises; and terrapin may refer to turtles that are small and live in fresh and brackish water, in particular the diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin).[3][4][5][6] In America, for example, the members of the genus Terrapene dwell on land, yet are referred to as box turtles rather than tortoises.[2]"

Turtle is a funnier word, so it's great that it's always available to refer to a tortoise.

Fernandinande said...

could you tell it was British?

Yeah, they have some serious problems speaking English.

I got a similar looking tortoise back in 1960 or so and it lived in my parents back yard for almost 40 years, then went to a tortoise lady.

Ann Althouse said...

There's no evidence of animal cruelty in the video. I believe that's a case of hunting an animal for food.

Ann Althouse said...

There's a sign up in my neighborhood about a lost turtle -- like a lost dog or cat. A turtle ran away?

Bob Boyd said...

At 90 the turtle was still in it's prime.

rhhardin said...

British DVDs without subtitles can be fatal.

Jack Wayne said...

This is the inevitable result of big government. If you don't like the government wasting money on stupidity, stop voting for big government. Your faux outrage demeans you. As a voter for big government your ONLY appropriate reaction must be applause.

Hagar said...

Snakes do the same thing. Bought a Lincoln Cosmopolitan off an estate sale in the spring of 1958 and a friend and I took it out to see what it was like. Down South NM 10 it seemed like there was a rattler in the road every 100 feet or so and all the kids from Chilili and Tajique, etc. were out walking the ditches with gunnysacks and steel rod hooks collecting rattlesnakes for their meat.

Paul Zrimsek said...

So this turtle hitched an elevator in a garbage truck? What does that even mean?

Roughcoat said...

"Tortoise" is also a funny word. I don't understand the purpose of being a tortoise. What's the point of being a tortoise with a big box shell if you don't go into water?

Left Bank of the Charles said...

The turtle seems to have been doing fine. How can we say it was rescued? So the tax money wasn't wasted on the turtle, it was wasted on the old lady. And to call it a waste presumes the public officials involved had something more productive to do. On a marginal basis, she may have saved the taxpayers money.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

FORCED? There's that four letter "F" word again. Along with "fair," one of the most abused words in English.

"Pet owner chose to..." better describe the situation but would sell fewer newspapers.

Robert said...

I am a little disturbed. I sense "ageism".

mockturtle said...

The British hold quite a few things in higher esteem than money. Animals, for one.
This doesn't surprise me at all.

Quaestor said...

Americans and very Canadian I've meet pronounce tortoise as tor-tus with even stress. In England you'll hear it as tor-toys.

Bill said...

Admit it -- you'd feel different if it had been an owl.

Bill said...

There's a gent not far from me who walks his Sulcata tortoise around the neighborhood. Here's a video.

Robert said...

"How much tax money was spent looking for a turtle that a lady let get into her garbage?"

You could consider it a worthwhile practice/training exercise in using the techniques and technologies to find something in the rubbish.

rehajm said...

If this is the government waste that you choose to be irked about do you have any idea how else goverment wastes money?

It irks me that this is the thing that irks you.

Hagar said...

I am with HXG. "Forced to" grates on my ears and makes my hackles rise every time I see it and note that no "force" actually was involved in whatever the article was about.

Robert Cook said...

Better the modest expenses to find a 90 year old pet than the vastly greater expenditures spent to build more weapons or that enrich already rich financiers and bankers.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

To borrow from the esteemed Rev. C.L. Dodgson: What has all this tortoise?

mockturtle said...

To borrow from the esteemed Rev. C.L. Dodgson: What has all this tortoise?

Not a whole hell of a lot, I don't think.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"And to call it a waste presumes the public officials involved had something more productive to do."

Agree. This sounds like one of the better uses of the public's resources that I've heard of lately.

Sayyid said...

""Tortoise" is also a funny word. I don't understand the purpose of being a tortoise. What's the point of being a tortoise with a big box shell if you don't go into water?"

Huh? The same as the point of a shell if you're a little aquatic turtle swimming around in the water. Protection from predators. Among desert tortoises it also helps to conserve water.

As a tortoise owner, I'd say anyone who calls a tortoise a turtle is basically doing the equivalent of calling a motorcycle an automobile. I mean, sure, it's technically accurate. It's still not something you'd want to do.

TWW said...

I now know why it is Turtles all the way down. I am ready.

jimbino said...

I'm with Robert @10:19 who senses ageism in the Althouse post. In a 9.11 type disaster, a Kenneth Feinberg would make monetary compensation awards, from lowest to highest in this presumed order:

1. old box turtle
2. young box turtle
3. old gay or single childfree person
4. young gay or single childfree person
5. single breeder
6. married breeder
7. single non-breeder with high earnings
8. married non-breeder with high earnings
9. single breeder with high earnings
10. married breeder with high earnings
11. pregnant single woman
12. pregnant married woman
13. Special Master of the Victim Compensation Fund

All paid for with your tax dollars and eventually approved by a judge as a part of the Amerikan "justice" system.

Tom said...

What good would thermal imaging do while looking for a cold-blooded animal?

Darrell said...

The British government yobs get paid even when they are sitting on their arses doing nothing. I doubt that any additional money has been spent. Perhaps for the wear and tear of the thermal imaging scanners.

Darrell said...

So this turtle hitched an elevator in a garbage truck? What does that even mean?

Stepped on the hydraulic arm that lifts the garbage into the truck.

Paul Snively said...

Bob Boyd: At 90 the turtle was still in it's prime.

You beat me to it. I was, of course, thinking of the "giant land tortoise," or Aldabra giant tortoise. "Some individual Aldabra giant tortoises are thought to be over 200 years of age, but this is difficult to verify because they tend to outlive their human observers."

Unknown said...

They spelled Testudo aubreii wrong.