Man Gives CPR to His Tortoise

August 15, 2017 Updated: October 5, 2018    

John Fletcher just wasn’t ready to give up on his tortoise. After it apparently drowned, Fletcher maintained CPR for an hour, attempting to bring it back to life.

Fletcher, of Gloucester, U.K., let his 45-year-old tortoise Freda roam his garden free. “The boundary is sealed from escape. Hedgehog gaps are too small for her,” he said in a Facebook post.

But on Saturday morning, Aug. 12, he couldn’t find her anywhere for over an hour.

“As a last resort to find it I put my arms down into my wild life garden pond and was shocked to find it on the bottom,” he said.

“I took it out and it was looking quite dead and limp,” said Fletcher.

As best as he could, he attempted CPR.

“I decided to put my own mouth around the head and give a few short blows having stretched its head out a little,” he said.

A small amount of water came out of the tortoise’s mouth.

“I thought I detected some movement so I warmed it up with a hair dryer, massaged its legs and neck,” he said. “[A]fter another full hour it started gasping and opened its eyes.”

Freda survived and has since done live interviews with Fletcher on U.K. media.

Fletcher received Freda many years ago from a friend who couldn’t care for her anymore. He already had a tortoise and so already knew how to handle her.

Yet only Freda woke up after a year of hibernation, Daily Mail reported.

All the more so, Fletcher became attached to the animal.

“I am so happy that it had came back to life as after years of successful hibernation and care it would have been a great loss to me,” he said.