Vaseline used to free tortoise Tommy from sundial

A reconstruction of the scene at a home in Norfolk Tommy the tortoise became trapped on a sundial in Norfolk

Related Stories

A tortoise trapped by a sundial has been freed by a firefighter using a pot of petroleum jelly.

Fifty-year-old Tommy was "hissing" after his leg became trapped in the cast iron base of the garden ornament in East Harling, Norfolk, on Wednesday.

Derek Sim, station manager at Thetford Fire Station, said releasing him was one of the most "bizarre" experiences of his 20-year career.

Tommy is said to be "sore", but recovering after a trip to a vet.

Mr Sim took 10 minutes to free Tommy.

He said Tommy's owners had been correct to call the fire service, and that in such cases just one firefighter would be sent to help the animal.

That firefighter could then assess if back-up was needed, or if other agencies such as the RSPCA needed to be called, he said.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Norfolk



18 °C 12 °C


  • Baby being handed overFraught world

    The legal confusion over UK surrogate births

  • Bad resultsBlame game

    The best excuses to use when exam results don't make the grade

  • Police respond to a shooting in Santa MonicaTrigger decision

    What really happens before a police officer fires his gun?

  • Child injured by what activists say were two air strikes in the north-eastern Damascus suburb of Douma (3 August 2014)'No-one cares'

    Hope fades for Syrians one year after chemical attack

  • Lady AlbaGoing Gaga Watch

    Social media's use ahead of the independence referendum

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.