The RSPCA has launched an investigation after a driver was seen hurling a tortoise out of a car window.
A delivery driver rescued the Horsfield’s tortoise, an endangered species, after seeing the animal being thrown onto the roadside while driving along Ashbourne Road in Stock-on-Trent.
He pulled over to check if the animal had been injured.
RSPCA inspector Charlotte Melvin said: “This poor tortoise was lying on the side of the road, so the driver picked him up and took him to the nearest vet.
“The vet had concerns about the welfare of the tortoise and the cruel manner in which he’d been abandoned so called us in.”
The tortoise has been named Mr Roadrunner in recognition of its dramatic ordeal and the RSPCA, which is now caring for it, said it was “doing quite well”.
If no one comes forward to claim Mr Roadrunner, Inspector Melvin said the RSPCA would be looking “for a new loving home” for it.
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The RSPCA has launched an investigation into the incident and is looking for the person responsible.
“I’m now investigating who was responsible for discarding him in such a cruel way,” said Mr Melvin.
“I’d like to hear from anyone who may know where he has come from or saw anything suspicious in the area on Tuesday afternoon to get in touch with us.”
Anyone with information which may help the investigation should call the RSPCA appeal line on 0300 123 8018 and leave a message for Inspector Melvin.