WTF Fun Fact 13601 – Runaway Tortoise Reunion

The tale of a runaway tortoise and his incredible journey back to its family after three and a half years of wandering in Putnam County, Florida, serves as a heartwarming reminder about never losing hope.

The Great Escape: Runaway Tortoise on the Move

Upon its discovery, the runaway tortoise was promptly brought to Florida’s Wildest Animal Rescue, where the team initiated a search on social media to locate the tortoise’s owners. “A truly unbelievable story, it just goes to show you to never give up hope,” remarked the shelter on their Facebook, delighted at the chance to play a role in such a heartwarming reunion.

When Gabby from Florida’s Wildest Animal Rescue spotted the tortoise’s photo shared by its owners in April 2020, she immediately recognized it. Distinctive features, like specific shell markings from an old dog bite, helped Gabby confirm it was the same tortoise. “As soon as I saw her photo I knew I had her tortoise,” Gabby recalled. Although the tortoise was found a mere five miles from where she made her grand escape, the journey wasn’t kind to the adventurous reptile.

Runaway Tortoise’s Health After Its Adventure

After spending years on the road, the tortoise returned in less than perfect shape. Gabby observed, “The condition of the tortoise isn’t great, she has a little shell rot on her shell, and a lot of the spurs on her legs are missing.” Despite these setbacks, the tortoise showed resilience and even ate under Gabby’s care. Yet, the importance of a vet visit was clear. A thorough check-up would be crucial to ensure the tortoise had no underlying infections or health concerns.

Sulcata Tortoises: Curious and Clever Creatures

Sulcata tortoises, widely known as African spurred tortoises, are among the world’s heftiest tortoises, sometimes tipping the scales at over 100 pounds. These curious creatures are a beloved pet choice in the United States. Yet, their sharp intelligence and innate curiosity often lead them into mischief. Gabby explains their reputation: “They burrow under fences, they’re also so strong they even have the potential to knock them down.” She aptly dubbed them “escape artists.”

However, not all runaway tales have jubilant conclusions. While this tortoise’s journey culminated in a heartening reunion, countless other stories remain unfinished. The ordeal underscores the importance of maintaining secure environments for these inquisitive creatures, ensuring they remain safe within their confines.

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Source: “Runaway Tortoise Found Five Miles From Home—Over Three Years Later” — Newsweek