Tortoises freeze to death after electrician fails to spot faulty heating lamp

Ten of Priddle’s Aldabra tortoises died and he later gave up 53 to be rehomed (stock image) (DPA/AFP via Getty Images)

An electrician did not check on his giant tortoises over Christmas, causing them to freeze to death after their heating lamp broke down, a court heard.

Gary Priddle, 56, admitted failing to meet the needs of 10 Aldabra tortoises at his home in Exeter, Devon, in December, in breach of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

He also pleaded guilty to dumping the remains in woodland, including on a National Trust estate.

tortoises, exeter, devon, national trust, animal welfare, giant tortoise, tortoises freeze to death after electrician fails to spot faulty heating lamp
One of the dead animals that police found in woodland (Devon and Cornwall Police/PA Wire)

At Exeter magistrates’ court, the animal keeper was given a community order including 50 hours of unpaid work and was banned from keeping tortoises for 10 years.

Aldabra tortoises, which are native to Aldabra Island, part of the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean, may live up to 150 years of age.

District Judge Stuart Smith told Priddle: “These 10 tortoises were exotic reptiles which were not native to this country or this climate.

“They were unique and required, I’m sure, very specific knowledge and care. They were entirely dependent and reliant on you to meet their needs.

“You described them as your pride and joy but for six days you prioritised your festive celebrations over their care and completely ignored your responsibility to them, not checking on them for that time.”

The deaths were a devastating tragedy that was completely avoidable, the judge said.

“You panicked and chose to secrete their bodies in east Devon which led to the police press release for information.

“Members of the public will be shocked and distressed to hear about the sad deaths of these 10 very impressive animals.”

The judge added: “You have expressed genuine remorse and upset. I believe you cared deeply for them.

“You have previously rescued tortoises and nurtured them. I consider this was an isolated incident.”

The court heard Priddle surrendered another 13 adult and 40 baby tortoises to police. The creatures have since been rehomed.

Priddle must also pay costs of £85 and a £114 surcharge.

OTHER NEWS

4 minutes ago

New York’s top share index hits record highs after US inflation cools

8 minutes ago

California law prohibiting gun shows at county fairs upheld by federal appeals court in unanimous decision

8 minutes ago

Election campaign day 21: The Tories press the panic button

8 minutes ago

Should Ontario snakes be feared? Get to know the various types slithering around

8 minutes ago

Cast of 'Inside Out 2' attends world premiere in Los Angeles—see all the photos!

11 minutes ago

Map Shows Russian Warships Passing Close to US

11 minutes ago

Lia Thomas’ transgender case thrown out after US swimmer ruled ineligible

11 minutes ago

Jerry West, NBA Legend and Hall of Famer, Dead at 86

11 minutes ago

Wednesday Flakes Brings You Nebraska QB’s, Bloated Rosters, & Steroids

11 minutes ago

Ravens' Derrick Henry on playing with Lamar Jackson: 'Breath of fresh air not being the center of attention'

11 minutes ago

Steelers Minicamp Takeaways: Troy Fautanu Impressing, T.J. Watt Changes Offseason Plan

11 minutes ago

Acropolis closed amid heatwave in Greece as temperatures reach 39C

11 minutes ago

In red-hot real estate markets, why do certain homes just not sell?

11 minutes ago

Premier League fans will recognise Albania's Euro 2024 coaching staff... with two-time winner and ex-Arsenal man to lead nation at the tournament

11 minutes ago

US Open staff forced to check EVERY grandstand seat overnight at Pinehurst after complaints they were COLLAPSING under fans

11 minutes ago

Tottenham terminate contract of £65m club record signing Tanguy Ndombele... over two years after the midfield flop was booed off on his final appearance

14 minutes ago

iOS 18 has ended the iPhone vs. Android debate

14 minutes ago

Thierry Henry says Arsenal star was 'best in Premier League' last season

14 minutes ago

Letitia James Celebrates $44 Million Win

14 minutes ago

Brazil Markets Sink as Lula Signals No Plan to Cut Spending

14 minutes ago

Four Jerry West feats that will likely never be replicated

14 minutes ago

Global confidence in Biden higher compared to Trump: Poll

15 minutes ago

Buy now, pay later products to be treated like credit cards, CFPB says

15 minutes ago

Billionaire Carolina Hurricanes owner on Wall Street titans embracing Trump: ‘Hard to support nonsense’

15 minutes ago

USGA to mull potential exemption for LIV golfers into U.S. Open

15 minutes ago

Lionel Messi reveals Inter Miami will be his 'last club'

15 minutes ago

Europe wants affordable electric vehicles from China. But not at the cost of its own auto industry

15 minutes ago

At the Tony Awards, a veteran host with plenty of stars and songs on tap

15 minutes ago

Marianne Williamson signals the end of her 2024 bid now that presidential primaries have ended

16 minutes ago

It's Time To Banish This Power-Sapping Move In The Golf Swing... For Good!

16 minutes ago

Grab an RX 7800 XT or RX 7700 XT and you can pick two games to keep from Lies of P, Avatar, Starfield and, my fav, CoH3

16 minutes ago

Ask Amy: Correspondence offers affecting ‘update’

16 minutes ago

Biden and Zelensky to sign security agreement between US and Ukraine at summit

16 minutes ago

SNP and Labour even in Scotland, poll suggests

16 minutes ago

4 trends with an outsized impact on e-commerce going forward

16 minutes ago

Ding ding, round two! Rematch for Mordaunt and Rayner in ITV debate

16 minutes ago

Correctional Services rubbishes Thabo Bester's claims

16 minutes ago

Emma Raducanu hits out at 'insane' officiating after Nottingham Open victory

16 minutes ago

‘Class’, ‘What a talent’ – Liverpool maestro had his nation’s media swooning after latest display

16 minutes ago

Rishi Sunak's key election message slapped down by new UK economy figures