Family asks for help locating missing Giant African Tortoise - Tucson Local Media: News

Family asks for help locating missing Giant African Tortoise

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Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 12:05 pm

Linda Frew and her family are looking for help locating their lost African Sulcata named Cleo.

She dug out of her enclosure on, or about, May 5th in the area just north of Hardy Road and west of Oracle, near Shadow Mountain Estates. Since then, we've posted many signs, given out fliers and posted to lost and found sites, but with no success so far. Frew did get a report of one sighting in the vicinity of the intersection of Calle Concordia and Calle Buena Vista on May 12th, which means she only moved about 1/4 mile during the first week she was on the loose.

Cleo weighs at least 60 pounds and measures 20 inches or more in length across the top of her shell, front to back. Besides her size, she can be differentiated from our native Desert Tortoise by lighter colored skin and shell and very dark eyes.

We certainly want her back, but there's another reason why she needs to come home. Sulcatas have voracious appetites and they can, and do, adapt quite well to the Sonoran Desert. This means that Cleo may consume large quantities of native vegetation sorely needed by indigenous herbivores. As far as I know, due to her size, she would have no natural predators in our desert environment.

If encountered, Cleo should be considered unarmed and non-dangerous. Anyone with the strength to do so could pick her up. If located, please contact Linda Frew ASAP at 237-0500 or via email, The family is offering a reward for information leading to Cleo's return.

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