Florentine the 100-year-old tortoiseGoogle Images

A Dublin family is asking for help in tracking down a pet tortoise that has been part of the family for forty years.

Florentine the tortoise, who is around 100 years old, escaped from the back yard of the Eogan family's house on Brighton Road in Rathgar on Saturday morning after a back door was briefly left open.

“We know he’s not dead because he’d be on the ground somewhere, it would be obvious,” says Cliona Eogan told TheJournal.ie. “But we don’t know if he escaped into someone’s garden or if someone picked him up or even took him."

Cliona's mother has put up posters around Rathgar and contacted police in case someone finds the beloved pet. Meanwhile, #rathgartortoise has been trending on Twitter in Dublin over the weekend.

Cliona added that tortoises can move surprisingly fast.

"We like to say that he’s solar-powered. When it’s warm and sunny he’ll fly around the garden. He can walk quite far: he likes to walk around the garden all day so he can walk for quite some time. He always follows the sun because he doesn’t like the shade."

She also said Florentine can survive for quite a while without food.

“He could be by himself for a weekend and he would be ok.  He’s easy to look after. He eats a lot of lettuce,  bits of cheese, boiled potatoes, soft potatoes – anything soft, really,” she said.

However, Florentine shouldn't be put in water as tortoises can't swim.

The pet has been in the family for forty years, but is believed to be around 100 years old.

"We got him from an elderly lady who had had him for about 40 years. We had him checked out a few years ago by a vet in UCD who told us you can tell his age by counting the rings on his shell, so he’s around 100 years old," said Cliona.