Biscuit, a 100-year-old African tortoise, has been reunited with his owner after being rescued from a canal.
A local animal control crew rescued the animal after the sheriff’s office discovered it “in distress” in the New River Canal, which runs between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, according to a parish Facebook post.
Animal control officers Curt Trepagnier and Isreal Millet were able to humanely collect the tortoise, put him onto a truck, and transport him to the local Cara’s House animal sanctuary, giving the creature’s owner three days to reclaim him.
Reunited with owner
Hours later, the animal shelter reported that the owner of the tortoise, Lamoine Howard, has claimed him.
“We are happy to report that Biscuit has been reunited with his family!” Cara’s House posted on its Facebook. “This boy is 100 years old.”
The shelter released a video of Biscuit strolling slowly toward Howard’s pickup truck.
Biscuit takes around 30 seconds to go from the shelter’s front door to his owner’s pickup, which is parked only about 10 yards away.
“Come on, Biscuit,” Howard says in the video as they walk out together. “He knows the truck,” Howard adds to the onlookers and Biscuit. “Go ahead.”
The African tortoise escaped from its Louisiana home after the back garden gate was left open due to wind and rain.
Howard said a co-worker later spotted Biscuit’s picture on social media.
Howard didn’t realize Biscuit had escaped when he left for work that morning, and it wasn’t until he saw the posts that he realized it was the family tortoise.
He also claimed he noticed certain distinctive features and quickly called the shelter to prove the turtle was his.
Biscuit has been a member of the Howard family for seven years, when Howard purchased Biscuit from a friend as a birthday present for his daughter.
Read Also: Galapagos Tortoise Making a Slow and Steady Recovery
Largest mainland tortoise
The African spurred tortoise, also known as the Sulcata tortoise, is the largest mainland tortoise, reaching lengths of up to 30 inches (76 cm) and weighing well over 100 pounds (45 kilograms).
Some males can weigh up to 200 pounds (90 kilograms).
Their name derives from the many spur-shaped scales on the front of their forearms, which they utilize for protection and to dig subterranean tunnels.
This turtle is a popular pet. It is produced and marketed throughout the United States, but as adorable as the babies are, they grow quickly.
Many owners consider them unmanageable and in need of relocation. They are inquisitive, intelligent reptiles with vibrant personalities, particularly when young.
They require a long-term commitment to be properly cared for as pets because many African tortoises, especially those raised in captivity rather than in the wild, can live for 80 to 100 years.
They are also listed as an endangered species and are protected in their natural habitat in Africa.
Threats to the African spurred tortoise include capture for the pet trade, habitat degradation due to urbanization, and cattle overgrazing.
Related Article: Geometric Tortoise Conservation: Endangered Rare Animal Get New Home [PHOTOS]
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