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Officer Reunites ‘Baby’ With Thankful Owner

65-pound Tortoise Had Been Missing for About a Week

This news release was issued by the John Welsh, of the Riverside County Department of Animal Services:

An animal control officer reunited a wandering tortoise with its owner Thursday.

The tortoise was found by a Good Samaritan and Riverside County Animal Services Officer Will Luna responded to the Mockingbird Canyon neighborhood, near the city of Riverside. 

While he was still in that general area, Officer Luna discovered a “LOST LARGE TORTOISE” flier on a post. He presumed the stray tortoise in his truck had to be the one posted the lost flier. Sure enough, it was a match and owner Lori Holly reunited with her “Baby,” a 65-pound, 11-year-old sulcata tortoise. 

“I was really missing him not being there,” Ms. Holly said. She said the tortoise escaped the same day she was having some work done at her home last Saturday.

Unfortunately, workers didn’t latch a gate completely and Baby took advantage of that, pushing his way out for a freedom stroll. 

Strangely enough, this has been Baby’s second out-of-yard journey in about three weeks, following a long stretch of about 11 years at the ranch-style property without any roaming, his owner said. Roughly three weeks ago, he burrowed his way under a fence, a problem Ms. Holly has recently fixed. 

“We have about two acres here and he’s been perfectly content all these years,” she said. “I don’t know if its girl-turtle season or what, but he’s making the rounds.” 

A husband and wife duo discovered Baby on that wayward trek and drove around seeking whether anyone was missing a tortoise.

“We were out of town, but fortunately a neighbor informed the couple where Baby lived,” she said. “I am not sure if he was mad because we told him not to throw any wild parties.” 

She feeds Baby an alfalfa-like pellet and, occasionally, deep-green vegetables, romaine and spinach. She said Baby is finicky and won’t just eat anything. That’s why she is pleased Baby is back where he belongs. 

“When I got the call from Officer Luna, it really made my day,” she said. 


Carmen Hardwick September 15, 2012 at 02:14 AM
We had the same looking tortose for many years & went missing probably as long as they have owned it....Our family missed that tortose they are great pets, but do wander....wonder??? Hmmm..
dove fly free September 15, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Cute story. Unfortunately I found my pet tortoise Suzy turned upside down on her back by one of my dogs. I sure miss that girl.
Nano September 15, 2012 at 10:40 PM
So happy that you have your Baby back. My Cosmo escaped a couple of times, so we had a specially built habitat created just for him on our property. Definitely burrow-proof!

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