Video: Offbeat - the world’s fastest tortoise

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From left, Pauline Jenkins, Sue Jenkins and Tracey Routh 

Picture: Sarah Standing (161713-5023)

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Blink and you’ll miss him – Bertie is officially the world’s fastest tortoise.

The racing reptile features in the new Guinness World Records book,

Bertie, who lives at family fun park Adventure Valley, in Durham, broke the record in July last year, but his owners had to wait until the new book came out before they could officially announce it.

To claim his title, Bertie, a leopard tortoise, covered the 18ft course in just 19.59 seconds, smashing the previous record of 43.7 seconds, which was set in 1977.

Bertie racked up an average speed of 0.28 metres per second, or 0.6mph. Marco Calzini, who owns Adventure Valley with his wife Janine, said: “I’m so proud of Bertie to have made it into the Guinness World Records book.

‘Visitors are always remarking how fast he is. He’s like the Usain Bolt of the tortoise world.’

Bertie has lived at Adventure Valley for four years, since his previous owners moved abroad.

It’s not known for sure how old he is, but Marco and Janine believe he’s about 10.

Leopard tortoises typically live to be between 80 and 100-years-old.

Janine said: “We get him out to meet the public and a lot of people commented on how fast he was for a tortoise.”

Marco added: “When we found out how fast the record was originally and looked at him on the floor, we thought he’d be able to beat it, so we had a good idea.

“He absolutely smashed it.”