A ferocious tortoise is on the loose in Catford.

Six-year-old Rex, also known as Tyrannotortoise, has been missing for 10 days after escaping from his enclosure where he was resting.

Jason Cross, 43, of Braidwood Road said he painted an orange spot on his shell to help find the runaway reptile who has escaped several times since buying him in 2008.

The clinical nurse specialist said: “He’s very very feisty and is always escaping. He’s really grumpy and will nip you and to be honest he’s more like a moany old man than a tortoise.”

Mr Cross, who also describes his 12-year-old son’s beloved pet as a “tough but popular little thing”, says that despite Rex’s rebellious ways the family are heartbroken and want him back as soon as possible.

He added: “We miss him and want him back as soon as possible as he is a big part of our family whether he’s chewing the furniture, running around the house or escaping from his enclosure so it would mean the world to have him back to us, particularly now it will start to get cold.”