Shock as railway workers reunite family with tortoise eight months after disappearance

Twin Missing Tortoise

Lizzie Jeanes and her children were all smiles after being reunited with Twin, eight months on from her disappearance. - Credit: Network Rail

Eight months after disappearing, a missing tortoise has been reunited with her family in Knebworth thanks to a group of railway workers.

On Sunday, May 5, John Keeley, Matt Cooke and Tony Russell were carrying out railway inspections along the East Coast Main Line, when they spotted the tortoise, named Twin, walking alongside the track.

The trio quickly sprang into action and got the creature to safety before taking her to the nearby vets in the hope she had been microchipped.

Twin Missing Tortoise

John Keeley found Twin alongside fellow railway workers Matt Cooke and Tony Russell. - Credit: Network Rail

Twin was given a clean bill of health, but she had not been microchipped. With the owners unable to be found, the trio became her carers for the night, taking her to Welwyn Garden City before their search began again.

The following day, John visited shops and cafés in Knebworth to see if anyone had lost a tortoise, with a café owner agreeing to post about the tortoise on their Facebook page to help spread the word.

Eight months earlier, Twin had disappeared from her home in Knebworth, much to the sadness of owner Lizzie Jeanes, and her two children Charlie, 10, and Connie, 8, with the tortoise having been in their family for 70 years.

They searched high and low to find her, but without any lucky, leaving them with just Joey, who Twin has lived with since 1952.

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After spotting the Facebook post, Lizzie contacted the railway trio and was reunited with her beloved creature.

Twin Missing Tortoise

Lizzie Jeanes with Twin, who has been in her family since 1952. - Credit: Network Rail

“I was absolutely elated when I heard that Twin had been found,” she said.

“When she went missing, we searched high and low for her, but we’d given up hope when she’d been missing for eight months.

“I can’t thank the team enough for reuniting us once more with Twin, who has been in our family for 70 years. We’re all delighted.”

“It’s not every day you see a tortoise on the railway, so we definitely did a double take when we spotted Twin,” added John.

“Although we weren’t really sure if we’d be able to find the owner, we knew someone would be missing her, so we knew we had to try our best.

Twin Missing Tortoise

Twin with Joey, who have spent 70 years together. - Credit: Network Rail

“It took a few days, but the power of social media really helped us and allowed us to deliver Twin home safe and sound.

“Lizzie, Charlie and Connie were delighted and they sent us a card to say thank you, so we’re glad to have helped.”