Sunday, April 15, 2012

I now have a tortoise! (again)


This is most likely my most random post ever. Completely unrelated to hair but I just had to share the good news. I have an African Spurred Tortoise! Let me clarify....my tortoise has returned to me! Or should I say, "I think my tortoise has returned."   You may be a little confused so let me explain further...

It all goes back to 3 or 4 years ago when my father, out of now where says he has a surprise for me and hands me a tiny baby turtle.  At the time, the tortoise was small enough to fit in the palm of my hand and weighed only a few ounces.   When I got it home, I felt like it was totally out of place in my home so I tried to build and outdoor enclosure for it.  My lack of experience with tortoise enclosures turned out to be a recipe for disaster for the little guy.  After two weeks or so of safely living in my home, I place him outside in his makeshift enclosure and, within 2 hours, my tortoise was gone.


My husband and I discussed several scenarios of the possible fate suffered by the baby tortoise including, him being eaten by a hawk or garden snake.  Other theories came to mind but we were stumped as to what happened.  Fast forward four years and we have new neighbors move in.  It wasn't until they were good and settled when my husband noticed that the neighbors had, in their back yard, a giant tortoise that could easily weigh over a hundred pounds!  This, of course, brought back the memories of the baby tortoise we once had.  He and I always joked that this tiny baby animal could possibly out live us and could weight over 200 lbs one day.


I figured that since our neighbor had a giant tortoise of their own, we could live vicariously through them by peering out of our back window into their yard, and marveling at this magnificent creature.  Then, out of nowhere, my husband tells me "I think your turtle is in the back yard".  We live near water so we get all kinds are turtles that stop by from time to time.  But turtles and tortoises are not the same.  Of course, I'm in total disbelief as I walk to the back while explaining to him the difference between a turtle and a tortoise ( and not getting my hopes up).


Then, it happens, I lay my eyes on the tortoise and suddenly I'm filled with excitement!  I can't believe I've found my turtle!  Where has he/she been all this time?  What has he been doing?  How did he survive this long without us noticing him?


Then my rational mind came to play and I realized that this could very well be a tortoise that escaped from the yard of my neighbor only a couple of homes down.  Is it possible that they have a slew of tortoises over there that we haven't noticed?  But to be honest, I think his size probably correlates with the amount of time my baby tortoise has been gone.  He's probably around the size of a football.  The neighbor's tortoise is at least 20 times the size of this one and we've eyed their backyard enough to have noticed other tortoises if they had any.  Who knows?!   Either way, I'm celebrating as if my long lost tortoise has miraculously returned to me.


I apologize for the randomness but who knows, maybe I'll be inspired to write a post titled "10 healthy hair tips I learned from owning a tortoise."  Hey......anything can happen.


  1. It could be your tortoise. My turtle returned to our home days after a hurricane wrecked through my island. It was the same turtle, in hiding and just waited until we came home. We thought it was a miracle because (naturally) we figured the sea took it along with everything else. Good luck and make sure to keep him enclosed :)

    PS. I love your blog!

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  2. Lol, glad he or she is back....btw can u tell the difference?

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  3. @Lee2Lee-At this moment I can't tell what it is. I read somewhere that they don't mature until 7 years or something like that so I may not be able to tell just yet.

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  4. I have faith that your turtle has returned. I'm glad he/she found his way back to your home. Great post :)

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  5. I really enjoyed this post. Such a nice little random bit of life that makes you smile. I wish I could trust a tortoise living in my backyard but as my driveway runs through it, I would be afraid of running over it. But I do enjoy the rabbits that I have.

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  6. Reunited... I also have the feeling that he/she came back. So have you taken it in?

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  7. We had a tortoise when my son was younger and it disappeared for over a month I thought someone stole him out of our yard because he loved being outside. Well after posting reward signs all over town some little children from the town brought him to see if it was ours because it walked up their grandparents driveway. What happened was he fell in the dry creakbed and followed it all over town till he came to the washout across town we were never so glad to see him. His name was speedy. They are quite quick. Glad yours is back have fun.

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