Tiny Tim is almost as small as a grape

A tiny month old egyptian tortoise stopped in its tracks by a grape. It was taken at the society's Whipsnade Zoo near London. He is part of a small litter born to a group of tortoises seized by HM Customs and Excise last year that were destined for the illegal pet trade. It weight just 6grams on hatch and will grow to 500 grams over the next 10 years when he might be big enough to consume the grape himself. (AGENCIES)

Met with the obstacle of a humble grape, most animals would swot it aside or even tuck into its tasty contents.

But for tiny Tim the tortoise the fruit proves more of a challenge.

That's because the grape and the reptile have something in common, their size Tim weighs in at just 6g and at his maximum will only reach 500g - the equivalent of just a couple of large bunches.

The exotic Kleinmann tortoise, who is just a month-old, is part of a litter seized by HM Customs and Excise last year.

The small sea creatures were destined for the illegal pet trade in the UK - but have now been rehomed at Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire.

The reptiles originate from Egypt and Libya and live for around 10 years.

However, since their habitat in Egypt was destroyed, they are now extinct in the country and on the global critically endangered list.

The animals, who can also be known by the names Egyptian Tortoise and Leith's tortoise, are the smallest of the species in the northern hemisphere.

They can range in colour from pale gold to dark brown, a characteristic that allows them to stay in the desert heat for long periods of time and act as camouflage.

The animal habitat is often that of dry areas, with sand, dry woodland and scrubs among the areas they choose. Their diet consists of grasses, fruits and vegetables.

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