Gillingham boss Paul Scally shell-shocked at theft of giant tortoise
Giant tortoise Blake was
stolen from outside a hospital in Dubai
by Jo Earle
Gillingham FC chairman Paul Scally has been left shell-shocked -
after one of his family's pet tortoises was stolen in Dubai.
The precious pet, called Blake after Blake Fielder
Civil, was nabbed by a man outside a hospital just yards from
the football boss's home.
Mr Scally said the animal - who is a much-loved
family pet alongside tortoise Amy, named after the late singer
Amy Winehouse - had escaped from his property.
He said it ended up outside a hospital in the Al Barsha district
of the city about 200 yards away.
Security staff spotted Blake and had called a vet to
But a mystery man who is said to have wanted the tortoise for
his young son was already loading the animal onto a van.
Mr Scally, pictured left, said his
daughters have been left devastated by Blake's disappearance, while
Amy is so depressed she has retreated into her shell.
He has now turned detective in a desperate bid to find the
tortoise, which was a gift to the family.
Mr Scally said: "Despite the efforts of a security guard, a guy
got hold of Blake and put him into his truck.
"The guard did take the registration number and we've managed to
trace who it is, but we can't find where he is.
"The police have taken it seriously and also blocked
the borders leading out of the Emirates.
"I'm now appealing to everyone to find Blake and this
Giant tortoises weigh as much as 660lbs and can cost
hundreds of pounds.
The Scally family have owned the tortoises, which are both
30-years-old, for two years and they have become precious
Mr Scally added: "My wife is a huge lover of tortoises and was
given them to her as a gift by some VIP Emiratis.
"The children and the family are all very upset. It's sad
for Amy too, I really feel for her.
"I'm annoyed with this guy - he knows he shouldn't have taken
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