The Daily Mail reports that Shirley Neely’s two refrigerators contain, on every shelf, wrapped in tea towels, slumbering tortoises. The smaller ones are snuggled up in a biscuit tin, but the bigger fellows are laid out side-by-side in their makeshift sleeping bags.
Mrs Neely who runs the Jersey-based Tortoise Sanctuary, had to set up the fridges because of the particularly mild winter.
Her tortoises hibernate for up to three months between December and March, and need steady temperatures between 3c and 8c.
They are in danger of waking early if it heats up – and then do not have enough body weight to keep themselves warm and not enough energy to eat or drink.
But fridges, at a steady 4c to 6c, are the perfect environment.
She opens the doors each day to waft fresh air inside. As tortoises breathe only once a minute during hibernation, this is sufficient to keep them healthy.