Missing tortoise found... a mile from home

7:07 AM, Aug 21, 2012   |    comments
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  • Courtesy: Elexis Hays

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. -- Last Thursday a wildlife rehabilitation center in Forsyth County had a tortoise go missing.

"There was a big search and rescue group," said Elexis Hays, owner of Wildlife Rehab Center. "There were a lot of feet on the ground. There were a lot of people looking. He was viral on Facebook, the sheriff's office, animal control. We had signs up. Every which way he could be found, he was found."

And he was. Tortellini, the 70-year old, 155-pound tortoise was found 3 days later, safe and sound, only a mile and a half away from home. A mile and a half in 3 days?! That means his pace was 0.014 mph, or 1.2 feet per minute. That may seem slow, but this wasn't an easy escape route.

Tortellini through a closed gate that he was able to wiggle all the way open, down a pasture, around the fence, down a hill, across a creek bed, and even a little farther than that before he was finally found.

It was rugged terrain and a broken shoulder that slowed him down so much, not because he isn't quick.

How do we know that? He's actually escaped before.

"He's really fast," Hays said. "He went a mile and a half in an hour and a half on his other escape."

For now, he's safe and sound at home and very tired from his little getaway.

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