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A 50-pound tortoise was found wandering in San Antonio park after digging out of its owners’ backyard

Animal Rangers brought the tortoise to wildlife rescue

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A tortoise weighing at least 50 pounds was found walking down a trail by visitors to a park near San Antonio.

The turtle was discovered on August 7 in Phil Hardberger Park, according to a San Antonio Animal Care Services (San Antonio ACS) Facebook post. Since no native tortoises in the area grow to be so enormous, those who observed the reptile concluded it was a pet.

According to a Facebook post from San Antonio ACS, the tortoise’s rescuers called 3-1-1 and an animal care officer attended. The large tortoise had to be moved from the trail to the responding officers’ truck by two cops.

Animal care professionals transported the turtle to San Antonio’s Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation.

Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation confirmed that the turtle they acquired was returned to its owner the following day in a statement to PEOPLE.

The group continued, saying the tortoise had carved a path out of its property, which abuts the park. The animal has been with the owners for 13 years.

Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation stated in a written statement, “I am sure he loved his time traversing the wider bounds of the park as if he were back in the wild. According to Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation, the tortoise was in “excellent shape and was evidently well cared for” when it came at the rescue.

The statement said, “He is among the more fortunate as these particular animals are all too frequently bought and sold as “so-called” pets.” They are not pets and rarely live well in captivity because they are wild animals.

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Cindy Iverson, whose 12-year-old tortoise Eliot had escaped from her yard after a storm blew open the gate, was interviewed by PEOPLE earlier this summer.

Iverson told PEOPLE, “We froze. “We searched all around. They are so roving. These tortoises don’t do anything except walk. Once they are outside, they can walk for a very long time.”

She emailed the people in her neighborhood, and one of them responded, amazingly having experienced something similar.

One individual immediately responded, saying, “Hey, I lost my turtle a couple years ago, a girl delivering Door Dash noticed a tortoise last night, had her dad Google to see if anyone lost a tortoise, and they contacted me,” Iverson commented on what took place next.

Iverson and the motorist who noticed the turtle were connected by the neighbor. Iverson was informed by the woman that the 150 lb. African Sulcata tortoise was freed from a drainage ditch while she was out making deliveries and that she would keep an eye out for it.

Iverson added that it was quite beneficial that she knew she spotted him and where he was headed. She was incredible.

The mother of the tortoise then blogged about the incident on NextDoor and Facebook, where she claimed to have received hundreds of comments.

Iverson reunited with the tortoise a day after learning Elliot had escaped when he was found entangled in a horse farm’s fence.