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Adventurous Gillingham cat ends up at Fenn Bell Zoo, Hoo 10 miles away from home

A cat may have fancied a walk on the wild side when he ended up 10 miles away from his normal home on a housing estate swapping it for a zoo.

Or perhaps Ted might have just been in need of some animated company with his more exotic feline cousins when he dropped by the Fenn Bell Zoo at St Mary Hoo.

Ted the Cat was found 10 miles away from his Gillingham home
Ted the Cat was found 10 miles away from his Gillingham home

How the wandering moggy reached his destination from his owners' home at Darland Banks, Gillingham – more than 10 miles away – is unclear.

But Ted's family were not surprised when their rescued 12-year-old stray went missing over the weekend.

Mum-of-two Megan Tutty said their much-loved pet often goes on outdoor adventures, hates being inside and is naturally nosey.

She said: "We got a call from a vet on Saturday morning to say they had found him at the zoo. But to be honest we had not really realised he was missing.

"It's not unusual him to go walkies in the neighbourhood. He's a real character and well-known around here.

The Fenn Bell Inn at St Mary Hoo
The Fenn Bell Inn at St Mary Hoo

"But we did chuckle when we were told he had gone so far away."

One theory is that the inquisitive feline may have climbed into a car or a delivery van and hitched a ride to the family attraction, which is home to fellow felines including bobcat, caracal, fishing cat and serval.

Megan said: "He always goes up to delivery people on the doorstep and Amazon is not far away from the zoo.

"People say I should write stories about him. He's often goes into other people's houses, loves being stroked and follow people up the road.

"Children love him and have their own names for him. He's been seen to sit in the middle of the road and drivers have had to get out of their cars to shoo him away."

Ted the Cat's mystery journey
Ted the Cat's mystery journey

Megan's husband William, 38, who runs his own plumbing company and one of their sons went to collect him at the zoo on Saturday lunchtime.

A member of the public had spotted him earlier that morning in the car park where staff lined up to bid their unexpected guest farewell.

Megan, mum of two boys aged three and five, said: "I can't thank staff enough. He won't wear a collar but they were able to scan him and track down our details.

Ted is on his way home after family collect him from zoo
Ted is on his way home after family collect him from zoo

"When he arrived back it was if nothing had happened. He had something to eat and was straight back outside again lazing in the sunshine on a wheelie bin.

"Ted gets stressed when he's inside, he headbutts the cat-flap to get out.

"There's no point in stopping him from going outdoors. We're just glad he's home now."

Andy Cowell, owner of The Fenn Bell Zoo and pub at St Mary Hoo, Rochester
Andy Cowell, owner of The Fenn Bell Zoo and pub at St Mary Hoo, Rochester

KentOnline approached the Fenn Bell Zoo to comment about Ted's adventure.

The attraction, which was the first in Medway to get a zoo licence, is home to a wide range of wild animals, including meerkats, lemurs, monkeys, racoon dogs, parrots and birds of prey.

It is home to the Fenn Bell Conservation Project which takes in rescued animals. There is an adjoining pub and restaurant, the Fenn Bell Inn, and a miniature railway around its three-acre garden.

It started when owner Andy Cowell saw an advert on the internet in 2011 to rehome two kunekune pigs.

After taking on more unwanted pets he decided in 2014 to open the doors to the public, and in the same year took on the pub. He was finally granted a zoo licence in June 2017.

If you have any idea how Ted got to his away-day at the zoo, contact the newsroom on 01634 227800 or email medway@thekmgroup.co.uk.

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