A TORTOISE was found 'hot-footing it' through a car park by a coastguard station officer who is hoping to reunite it with its owner.

Ian Brown, station manager at Swanage Coastguard, was out washing one of the vehicles this morning when he spotted a tortoise running across the car park on De Moulham Road.

He picked the creature up, which has fondly been named Tommy the Tortoise, and took it inside for fear it might get hit by a car.

He said: "I saw this little tortoise out the corner of my eye and I had to do a double take, it made me jump at first. I couldn't leave it where it was in the car park, I didn't want it to be squashed.

"Luckily a friend of ours looks after tortoises so it's having a bed and breakfast with some other tortoises until we can identify the owner.

"It doesn't appear to be injured and I've liaised with a local vet. It doesn't look like it's been microchipped. I would love to reunite it with the owner."

If you have lost a tortoise and think 'Tommy' could be it, contact Swanage Coastguard on the Swanage Coastguard Facebook page.