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CO Press: Zoo Searching For Stolen Tort

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Posted by: W von Papinešu at Wed Mar 30 11:27:03 2011  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by W von Papinešu ]  
   

KMGH (Denver, Colorado) 29 March 11 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Searching For Stolen Tortoise - Zookeepers Believe Someone Snatched Butti From 'The Loft' Exhibit (Kim Nguyen)
Colorado Springs, Colo.: Zookeepers are searching for a tortoise they believe was stolen.
Butti, a 13-year-old Indian star tortoise, disappeared from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs on Sunday afternoon.
Staffers last saw Butti in his hands-on exhibit known as The Loft around 4:30 p.m. When Butti’s keeper went back to check on him 15 minutes later, he was missing.
Staffers frantically scoured The Loft and swept the zoo, but couldn't find him.
Staffers reported that there were several people in The Loft shortly before Butti disappeared, the zoo said. The Loft is a place where guests can see animals and reptiles like Butti up close and even touch them under staff supervision.
"Cheyenne Mountain Zoo's mission is to provide up close experiences and make animals accessible to the public. It's a shame someone took advantage of that. We've never had something like this happen before, and we certainly don't want to penalize guests who respect the boundaries because of one bad seed," said zoo spokeswoman Katie Borremans.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is concerned for Butti’s welfare, because the tortoise needs special care and dietary needs. If he isn't kept at the proper temperature and isn't fed the right vegetables, he could suffer from significant health problems, the zoo said.
"This type of tortoise is not uncommon in the pet trade. We think someone probably thought the tortoise looked interesting and is planning to keep him as a pet, but we're worried Butti won’t receive proper care," Borremans said in a news release.
Butti is around the size of a grapefruit. He's about 6 inches long and weighs a little over a pound. He has a unique shell with a bumpy star pattern.
Butti and his brother, Tutti, are guest favorites at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. They have been together their whole lives and are frequently seen following each other around their exhibit.
The zoo said no charges will be filed if he is returned safely.
The Loft has seen more than one million visitors since it opened in 2008, and has never had an animal stolen.
If you've seen Butti, call 719-633-9925, ext. 140 with any information.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Searching For Stolen Tortoise


   

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