A STRAY turtle has surfaced out of the blue — at a luxury car plant.

The RSPCA were called to reports of a Chinese softshell turtle wandering in a loading bay at the Rolls-Royce warehouse in Bognor.

It was spotted making its way to the technology and logistics centre.

Staff feared the reptile would be crushed by a lorry. They coaxed the creature into a box and then put it in a sink until help arrived.

The healthy animal was transferred to a specialist centre, where it is awaiting a new, safer home.

RSPCA spokeswoman Amy Ockelford said: “This is a pretty unusual place to find a softshell turtle. They are typically found near water, so it was quite odd to see one in an industrial setting. Especially a Rolls-Royce garage: this turtle obviously has some taste.”

It is believed the reptile had been abandoned in a nearby pond.

Chinese softshell turtles are native to the Far East.

About a foot long, they are characterised by an elongated beak and a pliable, leathery shell.

Their species is vulnerable and threatened by habitat loss. They also form the main ingredient in turtle soup.

Escaped Chinese soft-shell turtles have established populations in Spain, Brazil, and Hawaii.

This is not the first time a reptile has cropped up in an unexpected place.

Amy said: “We had a corn snake abandoned in a Mcdonald’s earlier this week up in Middlesbrough.”

She added: “Owners often buy pets without doing their research. Exotic pets are a big commitment.

“They live longer than many people imagine, and they have very specific needs and diets.

“Sadly, many of them are abandoned, and there are lots of exotic pets in care looking for new owners.”

Anyone who finds a stray reptile can contact Brighton RSPCA’s Reptile Rescue service on 07815 525578.