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"Tortoise missing 4 years is back home"

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Posted by: unchikun at Thu Jul 29 14:51:13 2010  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by unchikun ]  
   

a story my aunt told me about -- what a lucky sulcata (and her family, too)!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tortoise missing 4 years is back home
Tortoise missing for four years returns

jclark@seacoastonline.com
July 13, 2010 2:00 AM

BRENTWOOD Many runaway pets are given hugs and scoldings by their owners for the stress caused by their disappearance, but Lucy the tortoise, who went missing for four years and returned Friday to her Brentwood home, was greeted with national media attention.

Four years after tunneling her way out of her pen, the African spur thigh tortoise was settling back into her home at the Wellington Gardens on Friday night. The Wellingtons received a call on June 9 from a neighbor saying the tortoise had been found in the road.

Initially thinking the reptile was their other tortoise, Linus, the Wellingtons were shocked to see the distinct shell markings of their long-lost Lucy.

"As soon as we saw her, we knew," said owner Christine Wellington. "To be that close to home is just amazing."

Wellington said, when Lucy disappeared the family was unable to find her. "I honestly thought someone stole her. That was my first thought."

Cindy Bilodeau, the neighbor who discovered Lucy, said she was in the yard when her son found the 60-pound animal while riding his dirt bike.

"All of a sudden, I heard him say, 'Mom, you've got to come look at this!'" Bilodeau said.

Initially believing it to be a snapping turtle, the Bilodeaus brought Lucy to the water, only to discover she wanted nothing to do with it.

"(She) just looked at us like 'I don't think so' and followed us back up the hill," she said.

Another neighbor told the Bilodeaus the Wellingtons own a tortoise, so they contacted the family and sent Lucy home.



"She went right in her dog house like she'd never left it," Wellington said.

After contacting Channel 9 news in the hope someone would come forward to shed some light on where Lucy had been for the past four years, the tale of the tortoise spread across the Internet, radio and television channels across the country.

"It's all over the Internet, people are calling us," she said. "I had a radio station in California call this morning. It's just absolutely amazing to me.

"People want good news, and it's such a happy story," she said.

"I didn't think we'd ever see her again," said Wellington's daughter, Hannah, 14.

"It's actually unbelievable that she's come back after all this time," said sister Emma, 10.

Native to the Sahara Desert, Lucy's species is composed of "tremendous burrowers and can go 100 feet to find water and get cool."

"It is very likely that she dug down and hunkered down for the winter," Wellington said. "They can't hibernate, but I do think she could sit under the frost line."

link to original story, with cute photos!


   

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