A 30-year-old disabled tortoise (ingrown toenails and harelip) unwittingly sent to a landfill site with its owner's rubbish, has been found alive.
Sheldrake, a greater-crested Galapagos tortoise, owned by Gladys Hawksbill of Margate in Kent, climbed into a bin bag in search of his favourite slug n lettuce pizza left-overs and was taken to the Canterbury landfill site by refuse collectors on Monday morning.
When Mrs. Hawksbill noticed the tortoise wasn't in his kennel or barking at passers-by she realised what might have happened phoned the Thanet Council landfill site on their emergency terrorist attack hotline and was allowed to look through the rubbish but Sheldrake was nowhere to be seen.
Luckily Mrs. Hawksbill's alarm call had been picked up by NATO's Nosy Twat snooper satellite and the Brussels H.Q. launched a full emergency search and rescue operation, parachuting in four battalions of troopers from its elite Rapid Response Regiment onto the Canterbury landfill site.
NATO spokesperson Col. Edna Nutcracker told The Spoof's military correspondent "The lads were all sat around on their lazy arses with fuck all to do until our next scheduled false flag terrorist operation in November, so the Joint Chiefs decided a spot of tortoise tracking would be good exercise for them until we invade Iran."
After securing the site with a customary perimeter of anti-personnel mines and ordering an air strike to napalm the tip manager's office, the troops scoured the area through the night aided by helicopter searchlights and flares but dawn brought no success in locating the missing tortoise.
A swift change in search method strategy was required if Sheldrake was to be found alive, so NATO Command deployed their stand-by reinforcement crack Sudanese 22nd Darfur Scavenger Battalion across the entire rubbish tip.
Col. Nutcracker informed the assembled media "As the tip was composed mainly of bio-degradable matter such as garden waste, broken glass, rusty barbed wire, depleted uranium and semi-toxic Bono posters we decided to put the Darfur Scavengers to work.
They hadn't had anything to eat for six weeks before leaving Khartoum, so getting them in the thick of it and let them eat their way through was the best tactic. We issued each of them with a picture of a tortoise first though, just in case."
Within hours the Darfur boys had scoffed over sixteen tons (metric) of assorted rubbish when a jubilant cheer arose. Sheldrake had been found under a pile of discarded U2 CD's nibbling on the remains of a McDonald's Chew n Spew cheese burger.
After a quick clean up with Mr. Sheen furniture polish and a Verison locator micro-chip embedded in his shell, Sheldrake the tortoise was delivered safely home. Yet another NATO success. Cost to the taxpayer : a measly £25,000,000. The smile on Mrs. Hawksbill's face : Priceless.