SHE is 108 years old – but Phoebe the tortoise can get around like she is in the prime of her youth and has a ferocious appetite.
But in order for the Mediterranean spur-thighed species to continue living a happy life, she needs an operation to ensure her organs keep working as they should.
So at the weekend a fundraising day was held by the Hampshire Tortoise Society, which looks after ageing Phoebe, to ensure it has the funds in place to make her better.
Phoebe and other tortoises of different species and sizes were on show to crowds – including an impressive three-and-a-half stone creature named Tucker – at the charity’s HQ in Titchfield.
Families were educated about the importance of looking after tortoises properly and games were put on for children.
Julie Hinks, founder of Hampshire Tortoise Society, said: ‘Phoebe is gorgeous.
‘She is very friendly and she comes when she is called, mainly because she wants food.
‘Her nickname is Oliver because she always wants more.’
Phoebe was handed over to the charity when she was 102 by her previous owner when they were 96.
Dan Whittington, 32, of Gosport, enjoyed the day with his partner Hannah, 31, and five sons Bailey, 11, Noah, four, Lewis, six, Jayce, seven, and three-week-old Dexter.
The family love tortoises and have adopted a Mediterranean species from the charity called Norman Trundel.
Toddler Noah enjoyed larking about with a huge three-and-a-half stone tortoise called Tucker.
Dan said: ‘We know the event well and we thought we would go along again to show our support.
‘It’s a great day out for the kids, especially when the weather is this good.
‘It’s inexpensive and it raises money for the charity.’
Entry to the annual event was free and in the end £1,000 was raised.
A total of £300 was needed for Phoebe’s operation, due to take place this week, and the extra money raised will help to cover outstanding veterinary bills.
Julie said: ‘These are our biggest fundraising events. It’s the day of the year that helps us get through the next few months.’