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Old 24 May 2017, 06:26 AM
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crocoduck_hunter crocoduck_hunter is offline
 
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Default Mom found a tortoise

This morning I got a text message from my mom asking for help identifying an animal she found in her back yard. It turned out to be a tortoise- the legs were quite distinctive.

Now, we don't have native tortoises in the area, so obviously it was someone's pet that had somehow gotten loose. Mom's got a fully fenced back yard that's adjacent to four other houses. She checked two of the neighbors and was told that it wasn't theirs while I checked the local missing pet registries online. The local animal shelter doesn't accept reptiles and the wild animal rescue center won't take non-native species.

Mom decided to leave him in the yard for the day after putting him under one of the bushes so he'd be out of the sun, and apparently he stayed there fairly well. This evening, she got a call from one of her neighbors: he new someone who said they'd take the tortoise, so he came over and left with it.

I must admit, I'm feeling rather conflicted about this resolution: obviously the tortoise belonged to someone else and I feel as if there wasn't a whole lot done to actually locate the owner. If it were a dog or cat, she'd have been willing to check with everyone in the neighborhood, I'm sure.

Anyway, felt like I needed to get that off my chest.
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Old 24 May 2017, 07:53 AM
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ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
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I was going to make a suggestion that perhaps someone is trying to send her a message (a la 'esio trot') then I googled and... 'huh?' I did not know They made a movie of this!
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3205394/
And it's reviews are not too bad. Hm.

ETA Oh, I somehow misunderstood the OP to mean the one who came to take the tortoise was the owner. Yeah, that's not that good an ending. Gee.
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Old 24 May 2017, 11:39 AM
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Gutter Monkey Gutter Monkey is offline
 
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It's probably better for the tortoise that someone who is able to care for it properly came and collected it. Plus if the original owner does come forward your mother will be able to put them in touch with the people who currently have it.

But yeah, depending on the size it could have been someone's pet for a decade or more so they might be rather attached to it.
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Old 24 May 2017, 07:02 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Or it might have been dumped/abandoned. Of the two possibilities (escaped vs. dumped), I think dumped/abandoned is probably the more likely.
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Old 24 May 2017, 07:10 PM
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crocoduck_hunter crocoduck_hunter is offline
 
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Not in her back yard. It's completely enclosed and adjacent only to other peoples' fenced yards. It's not an area a person would go to dump an animal.
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Old 24 May 2017, 07:23 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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So the tortoise climbed the fence? In any case, the animal got into the yard somehow so how it got to being outside the yard could still be anything.

Unless a neighbor purposely placed the animal over the fence?
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Old 24 May 2017, 08:02 PM
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Cervus Cervus is offline
 
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Tortoises burrow underground; they can easily dig under fences.

When my dad was growing up in the 50's, he kept several native Florida tortoises as pets. (The species is now threatened and protected.) In order to keep them from digging out of the sandbox he built for them, he drilled a hole through the edge of their shells and tied a rope through it so he could tie them up to a stake. He was unaware at the time that turtles and tortoises have nerve endings and can feel pain through their shells. They don't borrow shells like hermit crabs do; the shell is an extension of their rib cage and is a literal part of their body that grows with them. So don't ever tamper with their shells, not even to paint them. This is a PSA for any current and potential turtle owners out there.
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