Runaway tortoises and stowaway snakes – all in a day’s work for Wadars!

Worthing based Wadars animal rescue is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and over the coming weeks we are supporting the celebrations by highlighting just some of the many hundreds of stories that the charity has to tell. One such story involved a tortoise who was found straying on the M25 back in September 2009.

Freeway as he was named by staff at Wadars, was spotted in the fast lane of the motorway during rush hour by a commuter who was on his way home to Worthing. Having first assumed he was looking at a piece of debris, the driver very quickly realised that it was moving and pulled his car onto the hard shoulder before running 400 yards back along the road to rescue the tortoise. The gentleman then dropped the tortoise off at a vet in Worthing, who gave it a check over and then handed it across to Wadars to be cared for. Sadly, despite attempts to trace his owners no one came forward and Freeway was eventually adopted by the vet that had checked him over when he first arrived in Worthing.

Another story involved a local couple who purchased a suitcase from Argos in preparation for their forthcoming holiday. The large suitcase came in an even larger cardboard box, and when the couple got home and opened it up, they were greeted by a four-foot-long corn snake! The startled couple then called Wadars, and animal rescue officer Billy Elliot, went along to collect the snake. It was eventually handed over to a specialist reptile rescue centre who cared for it until it could be found a suitable new home. 

In order to help raise much needed funds during its 50th anniversary, Wadars will be staging a number of events and activities including its annual Walk for Wadars sponsored walk. The 5-mile route for the event, which is entirely flat and so suitable for young and old alike, starts on Goring Gap Green next to the Sea Lane Café, and goes right along the seafront to Worthing Pier and back.

This year Walk for Wadars will take place on Sunday 12th May. The event is free to enter, and participants are asked to raise sponsorship for the charity. Wadars Operations Manager Tracy Cadman said; “We don’t have a set level of sponsorship for people to raise, and some participants do raise hundreds of pounds, but being our 50th anniversary we will be encouraging as many people as possible to try and raise at least £50 for us – that said, every penny helps!”

To enter Walk for Wadars, call the charity on 01903 247111 or log onto and search for Walk for Wadars.