A Lincoln pet shop has launched an appeal after two of its baby tortoises were stolen on separate occasions.
The Sulcata tortoises were taken from the Lincoln Reptile and Pet Centre and shop owners fear the culprits plan on selling the animals, which are worth £150 each, privately at a knocked down price.
CCTV footage of the incident has been handed over to police, who are now investigating the crime, and owners are urging members of the public with information to come forward.
Wendy Dickinson, co-owner of the shop, says she was very disappointed when she found out the animals had been taken.
She said: "I was very disappointed when I found out someone had stolen from us.
"It is a small, family-run business - we have worked very hard.
"These are not just regular tortoises either as they require a special enclosure and special feed.
"If they are not taken care of they will die.
"We are very concerned about their well-being and want anyone who might know anything to come forward."
Also known as the African spurred tortoise, the tortoises are one of the biggest species on earth.
Each tortoise can weigh up to 43 kilos and grow up to 656 mm when fully grown.
These tortoises are a native of the Sahara Desert and the Sahel in Africa.
To get to areas with higher moisture, Sulcata tortoises dig burrows which may reach up to 10 feet below the ground.
If you have any information contact the shop on 01522 523630 or call the police.