A security alert was issued in a Saudi village after panicked residents of Wadi Dawasir, an agricultural village near Riyadh, mistook a harmless elderly tortoise for a dangerous creature.

The worried residents called up the Saudi civil defences forces, who sent in rescue teams to "fight" the dangerous animal.

The armed personnel thought they were going to confront a "large predator", but were surprised to find that it was just a tortoise, according to Saudi daily Sabq.

The Saudi daily said residents panicked as they could not identify the slow-moving animal in the dark as it was covered in mud, said the police.

The elderly visitor later was checked by a veterinarian and given necessary care before being handed over to wildlife authorities, said the report.

(Source: Saudi Gazette)