A TEARAWAY tortoise is on the loose in Chalfont St Giles after escaping from her owner's home.

The leopard tortoise, who hasn't been named, managed to make a break for freedom from Stylecroft Road after one of her fellow reptile friends managed to open the back door of the property.

Ray Penrose, 59, who works as a communications officer for the police, said: "I have three tortoises and the largest one opened the back door, and I think she may have gone out through the gate.

"She is a leopard tortoise and is brown, beige and yellow."

The three-year-old tortoise has been missing since July 1 and Ray is keen to hear from anyone who may have found or spotted her.

She is around seven inches in size and is still quite small as many tortoises can grow to at least 15 inches.

The slow getaway made by the tortoise has left her owner worried and he hopes that someone may find and return her.

Ray, who has been raising tortoises since he was a young boy, said: "She is not an endangered species but they are the type of tortoises that do not hibernate and so they do need to be in the warm and need some specialist care."

Heaters are often used by tortoise owners to help keep the creatures warm and safe and Ray remains optimistic that the escapee will be returned home as soon as possible.

He added: "I am obviously concerned and it would be nice if she could just be returned to the garden."

If you spot the leopard tortoise then call our newsdesk on 01494 755084 or email us at bfp news@london.newsquest.co.uk