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IL Press: Slow-speed chase

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Posted by: W von Papineäu at Wed Oct 10 13:47:27 2007  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by W von Papineäu ]  
   

THE TELEGRAPH (Alton, Illinois) 05 October 07 Slow-speed chase -- Missing tortoise found close to home (Steve Whitworth)
Alton: An Alton woman’s search for her escaped pet tortoise ended happily Friday evening.
Tiffany Arnold, 21, bought the reptile four years ago as a Christmas gift for her boyfriend, Matthew Scholbe, 21, of Bethalto. The couple co-owns the tortoise, which lives at Arnold’s house on Alicia Drive, a dead-end street off Humbert Road near the Alton-Godfrey boundary.
Arnold said she and Scholbe named their pet Nanashi, which means “no name” in Japanese. She said they chose the name because it’s impossible to tell the gender of the tortoise until it’s about 20 years old.
Nanashi is an African spurred tortoise, also called the African spur thigh tortoise. The species is native to the southern edge of the Sahara Desert in Africa and is becoming more popular as a pet in the United States. It is the third-largest species of tortoise in the world and the largest of the mainland tortoises. Adults are usually 18 inches in shell length and weigh 70 to 100 pounds; however, specimens with 24- to 30-inch-long shells and weighing 150 pounds are not uncommon. They have been known to live up to 80 years.
When they got Nanashi, it was only as big as a human hand, Arnold said. She said it now is about 18 inches long and weighs between 10 and 15 pounds. Nanashi mainly eats a diet of romaine lettuce and Western timothy hay.
Nanashi normally lives in a pen built of chicken wire and steel rods in Arnold’s back yard. But when Arnold went to check on the tortoise Monday night, it was gone. In the morning, she could see where the reptile had made its escape.
“The fence looked like it had been moved up a little, and he could crawl out from underneath,” she said.
Missing tortoise found close to home


   

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