The Nation wishes Thomas the tortoise a happy 130th birthday! 

Born when Gladstone was Prime Minister, Thomas the tortoise has survived everything since 1882, even Nazi bombs.

But Thomas, now Britain’s oldest resident, hid a secret under its shell for most of those 130 years – being a female.

The tortoise was pulled from the rubble of a bomb-hit house in Essex in 1945. But it was only when owner June Le Gallez of Guernsey inherited Thomas in 1978 that a vet found the truth, after 96 years. ‘People suggested I rename him Tomasina, but I thought it would be cruel to change it,’ said Mrs Le Gallez, 54, adding: ‘She isn’t slowing down. People can’t believe how active she is.’

Mrs Le Gallez, 54, who cares for the reptile at her home on the Channel Island of Guernsey, added: ‘Thomas is very much part of the family. I have pictures with her when I was as young as two. ‘Because she is so old we thought we would have lost her by now but she is tough. I sometimes wonder if she will outlive me. She’s always been very big for her age. Thomas used to live and run in the garden when she was younger but now we keep her in the house and she bumbles around.

‘She is just a massive part of the family and everyone is very fond of her. She really races around when she wants to. She’s really fast.’                             –MO

The Nation wishes Thomas the tortoise a happy 130th birthday! 

Born when Gladstone was Prime Minister, Thomas the tortoise has survived everything since 1882, even Nazi bombs.

But Thomas, now Britain’s oldest resident, hid a secret under its shell for most of those 130 years – being a female.

The tortoise was pulled from the rubble of a bomb-hit house in Essex in 1945. But it was only when owner June Le Gallez of Guernsey inherited Thomas in 1978 that a vet found the truth, after 96 years. ‘People suggested I rename him Tomasina, but I thought it would be cruel to change it,’ said Mrs Le Gallez, 54, adding: ‘She isn’t slowing down. People can’t believe how active she is.’

Mrs Le Gallez, 54, who cares for the reptile at her home on the Channel Island of Guernsey, added: ‘Thomas is very much part of the family. I have pictures with her when I was as young as two. ‘Because she is so old we thought we would have lost her by now but she is tough. I sometimes wonder if she will outlive me. She’s always been very big for her age. Thomas used to live and run in the garden when she was younger but now we keep her in the house and she bumbles around.

‘She is just a massive part of the family and everyone is very fond of her. She really races around when she wants to. She’s really fast.’                             –MO

130 year old Thomas the Tortoise has survived two world wars and even narrowly escaped being hit by a bomb during the Blitz. He is now on the road to recovery after being attacked by a rat.

June Le Gallez returned to her St Peter’s home on Tuesday afternoon with her 130-year-old pet, which had spent the past five days at the vets.

She said her female reptile, called Thomas, is now on antibiotics and painkillers after the rat bite wound on its shoulder got infected with maggots, which even travelled down its throat.

‘Thomas is very much part of the family and because she is so old we thought we would have lost her but she is tough and we are just hoping she pulls through,’ the 54-year-old said.

Mrs Le Gallez said her great uncle Harry, who lived in the UK, bought Thomas when she was 20 years old in 1922 to give to his daughter, Grace.

130 year old Thomas the Tortoise has survived two world wars and even narrowly escaped being hit by a bomb during the Blitz. He is now on the road to recovery after being attacked by a rat.

June Le Gallez returned to her St Peter’s home on Tuesday afternoon with her 130-year-old pet, which had spent the past five days at the vets.

She said her female reptile, called Thomas, is now on antibiotics and painkillers after the rat bite wound on its shoulder got infected with maggots, which even travelled down its throat.

‘Thomas is very much part of the family and because she is so old we thought we would have lost her but she is tough and we are just hoping she pulls through,’ the 54-year-old said.

Mrs Le Gallez said her great uncle Harry, who lived in the UK, bought Thomas when she was 20 years old in 1922 to give to his daughter, Grace.

you show ‘em Thomas!! So glad you found a good home. 

The ‘flying tortoise’ found dangling from a tree in Oceanside, tied to several bright green balloons back on Aug. 19, has finally found himself a place to call home – and it’s on safe, firm land to boot.

The reptile — now named “Thomas” – was rescued by the San Diego Humane Society in the 4200 block of Humboldt Bay Way in Oceanside.

Crews were able to free the airborne animal attached to a bouquet of helium-inflated balloons before the tortoise could sustain any serious injuries.

Following the incident PETA offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for duct-taping Thomas to the balloons, but a suspect was never named in the tortoise torture case.

On Wednesday, the San Diego Human Society announced that Thomas has been adopted by Alicia Berg, a local program instructor with the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation, pictured right with Thomas at Mission Trails.

Berg and Thomas will now join educational outreach programs and teach children about the proper treatment and care of animals. Thomas will visit classrooms throughout San Diego County to teach children about animal cruelty and neglect, and the importance of conserving the environment.

Meanwhile, investigators at the Humane Society said they are still actively looking for the suspect responsible for the cruel flying tortoise prank. Investigator Randall Lawrence said officials have gathered substantial evidence and are following several leads.

Anyone with information on Thomas’ balloon prank or any other case of animal cruelty or neglect is urged to call (619) 243-3466.


you show ‘em Thomas!! So glad you found a good home. 

The ‘flying tortoise’ found dangling from a tree in Oceanside, tied to several bright green balloons back on Aug. 19, has finally found himself a place to call home – and it’s on safe, firm land to boot.

The reptile – now named “Thomas” – was rescued by the San Diego Humane Society in the 4200 block of Humboldt Bay Way in Oceanside.

Crews were able to free the airborne animal attached to a bouquet of helium-inflated balloons before the tortoise could sustain any serious injuries.

Following the incident PETA offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for duct-taping Thomas to the balloons, but a suspect was never named in the tortoise torture case.

On Wednesday, the San Diego Human Society announced that Thomas has been adopted by Alicia Berg, a local program instructor with the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation, pictured right with Thomas at Mission Trails.

Berg and Thomas will now join educational outreach programs and teach children about the proper treatment and care of animals. Thomas will visit classrooms throughout San Diego County to teach children about animal cruelty and neglect, and the importance of conserving the environment.

Meanwhile, investigators at the Humane Society said they are still actively looking for the suspect responsible for the cruel flying tortoise prank. Investigator Randall Lawrence said officials have gathered substantial evidence and are following several leads.

Anyone with information on Thomas’ balloon prank or any other case of animal cruelty or neglect is urged to call (619) 243-3466.