Tortoise sanctuary could close

  • 23 September 2011

A tortoise sanctuary in Cornwall could be forced to close down unless it gets a licence to become a zoo.

The council says tortoises are wild animals so the sanctuary needs a special zoo licence to keep them.

Joy Bloor, who's run the Tortoise Garden in St Austell, for 20 years, said she can't afford to pay for a licence.

The sanctuary looks after 400 tortoises whose owners have died or are no longer able to look after them.

The licence costs £275 for the first four years plus fees for regular inspections. Anyone found without a licence can be fined.

Tortoise Garden has been told to apply for the new zoo licence by Friday.