Several trains were cancelled in south-eastern England after a huge tortoise somehow ended up on a railway track, causing chaos.

The injured animal was spotted on the Cambridge-bound railway line in Norfolk at around midday on Monday, near Harling Road station.

It forced several trains between Norwich and Cambridge to come to a halt. According to rail operator Greater Anglia, two trains were terminated immediately, while one was delayed. It took more than an hour to resume services.

Swallow Aquatics in East Harling said that the reptile had been missing for days before it was spotted on the railway track. It is still unclear how it managed to find its way there, per a BBC report.

The tortoise sustained an injury after being hit by a train. The 2.5 ft (76 cm) long tortoise had a large gash on its shell, the pet shop added.

"It was very large and filled a substantial area of the track. I tried to tweet Greater Anglia, but I'm not sure the message got through," said Diane Akers, one of the passengers on a train from Ely to Norwich.

A Greater Anglia spokesperson issued an apology for the delays caused by the incident, stating that anyone "who has been delayed for more than 15 minutes can claim delay repay."

Earlier in February, a dog brought trains in the Liverpool City Region to a halt after it got trapped alongside rail tracks. The dog, Delilah, was first hit by a car and continued to run in panic before she became trapped alongside the tracks. She was spotted by a couple who informed the RSPCA.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) rescued the dog along with Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service. Her owner had been looking for her for hours before the agency informed them of her situation.

"Delilah still seems a bit timid following her ordeal, but she is getting better," her owner Claire Fishlock told the local publications then.

Tortoises are among the longest living animals on earth, who can live from thirty to over a hundred years of age Reuters