Meet the Gertiesaurus - the stylish tortoise dressed by a Sunderland knitter

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A Wearside knitter is helping to keep a family tortoise warm this winter.

Sunderland’s Linda Spensley has come to the rescue of a non-hibernating tortoise now the weather is turning colder.

Gertie in her winter coat.

Gertie in her winter coat.

Linda, 58, who lives in Grangetown, has turned Gertie into a new woman with her own dinosaur-themed winter wardrobe.

The former Sunderland Echo worker explained that Gertie belongs to her nephew, James Moss, who was given her as a Christmas present four years ago.

She said: “Gertie has never hibernated. She has her own box with a heat lamp in the kitchen and goes to bed at night and wakes up the next morning, all the year round.

“Apparently it is a bit of a craze in America to knit tea cozys for tortoises and my nephew said could I knit one for Gertie to keep her warm when she goes out in the garden.

I decided to give it a go and came up with the dinosaur costume

Linda Spensley

“I decided to give it a go and came up with the idea of a dinosaur costume - so she is called Gertiesaurus now.”

After finishing the garment Linda sent it off to Gertie, who lives with James, 35, in Boston Spa, and was delighted to get a photo and a video of her modelling her new coat.

Linda said she has always loved knitting and crafts, but now has a lot more time now to devote to her hobby, and is currently crocheting a pawprint Christmas stocking for someone else’s dog.

She said: “I’m sure there are lots of other people who make things for pets, its a bit of fun. I am going to think of other things I can knit for the tortoise now.”