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Pic shows: This tortoise bit a man on the lip, and wouldn’t let go.

A drunk that claimed he wanted to eat a tortoise alive had the tables turned when the tortoise bit him on the lip, and wouldn’t let go.

Bao Yu was left shouting for help as the tortoise remained clamped onto his lip at the market in China’s capital Beijing.

The stallholder in the local market, Zhang Lung, said she had called security when the drunk man picked up the tortoise that was on sale and said he wanted to eat it. But as he put his mouth near the animal, it bit him on the lip.

She said that she saw the man and smelt him wobbling towards her stall and was dubious that he was a genuine customer when telling her he wanted the tortoise.

She said: «I thought he wanted to buy it and cook it at home, but he said he wanted to eat it now.

«He hadn’t even paid for it but he shoved it towards his mouth and I thought he was going to bite its head off. But before he could put it in his mouth the tortoise bit him on the lip.»

She said the man had been left howling in pain and trying to pull the tortoise free for 10 minutes during which time the security guards had arrived and also tried to assist in getting the tortoise to let go.

A friend of the man told the security guards that when drunk, he often made the same joke when walking back home through the market but this was the first time that one of the tortoises had bit him on the lip.

In the end they managed to get the man free by putting the animal still attached to his lip in the water of a tank reserved for terrapins.

She said: «I told him to stick his head in the tank and then we managed to get the tortoise off.»