2016 technology just saved a woman's tortoise from certain death

Francesca Washtell
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Zuma the tortoise is 90-years-old (Source: Westminster City Council)

Today's most heartwarming London news story is a good reminder that while we might take for granted the technology available at our fingertips in this day and age, one woman and her tortoise definitely don't.

Westminster refuse staff leapt into action after a London resident, Sarah Joiner, called to say her 90-year-old tortoise Zuma had disappeared after getting into a rubbish bag.

Using GPS satellite tracking, Westminster City Council staff quickly managed to locate the truck that had taken a collection at her property and tracked it down to a Veolia-operated waste treatment facility where black bag waste is processed.

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Luckily for Zuma, who has been living with Joiner for four decades, the vehicle had not yet tipped its waste into the massive storage bunker which processes thousands of tonnes of waste.

Westminster City Council's cabinet member for city management and customer services, said: "We’ve all had that feeling of panic when we realise we’ve lost something, but when it’s a much loved family pet then it really is a disaster. On this occasion the understanding and hard work of our waste services staff is an exemplar of how we strive to ensure our residents receive outstanding customer service."

Joiner and Zuma (Source: Westminster City Council)

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Joiner said: “Thank you is never going to be enough. It was amazing teamwork; there was no nonsense about it just enormous good will in finding him. I can’t thank Jarno Stet from the council, Lynn Davis from Veolia, plus Ben Gillett and Simon Lane from Veolia enough.”

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