Norfolk

Tortoise, 102, is guest of honour at wedding

Emma and Ric Washington Image copyright Winston Sanders Photography
Image caption Emma and Ric Washington with 102-year-old Sammy and their two other tortoises

A tortoise-obsessed bride and groom made their 102-year-old pet the guest of honour at their wedding.

Sammy, the miniature Tunisian reptile, was at Emma and Ric Washington's special day in Norfolk, with sidekicks Clyde, 14, and two-year-old Esther.

The centenarian star attraction watched the celebrations in south Norfolk from a wooden shed built specially for him.

"It seemed wrong to spend the best day of our lives without them," Mrs Washington said.

Describing them as "part of lives", she added: "They got a fantastic reaction - and the photographer was quite taken with them."

Image copyright Winston Sanders Photography
Image caption It is thought Sammy may have been brought back to the UK after World War One

Sammy was adopted by the couple in 2017 after they saw him at the Norfolk Tortoise Club, where Mrs Washington is a volunteer.

"They say cats and dogs choose you, and it was the same with Sammy - he picked us," she said.

"He had such a lovely personality I couldn't resist him.

The couple, who live in Thorpe St Andrew, near Norwich, married in Palgrave.

They had tortoises on their invitations, and the registrar decorated their wedding certificate with a logo of the reptile.

Image copyright Winston Sanders Photography
Image caption Sammy was adopted by the Washingtons in 2017

Sammy may be older than 102, as the couple do not know how old he was when he was given to his previous owner in about 1920.

It is thought he may have been brought back to the UK by a soldier returning from north Africa after World War One.

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