Clearly, Potato the Sulcata tortoise has a knack for breaking free.
The beloved tortoise has broken out of its home in Little Rock, Arkansas three times now. Luckily, it’s not terribly hard to catch up to the animal. A slow walk is enough to catch you up to Potato.
Despite lacking some horsepower, the tortoise still made its best effort to win this race. However, the third time was not the charm. The 14-year-old tortoise was actually spotted slowly making her way down Interstate 40 this past Sunday.
Potato the Tortoise, Escape Artist
Perhaps she was trying to match the car’s speed to get a little boost. Luckily, the tortoise is back home safe with no injuries from her time on the road.
“I was just hoping she hadn’t been hit by a car … She had never escaped in the nine years we had her but now this is her third escape,” her owner, Chelsea Hattaway, said to a local news station KLRT. She keeps Potato in a backyard enclosure.
When she first got Potato the tortoise, she was only 25 pounds. Since then, she weighs in at a whopping 85 pounds.
Potato first escaped about a month ago. She was seen crawling around three doors down at the neighbor’s house.
The second escape actually led to a neighborhood-wide search. “I know that’s something you don’t expect to hear when there’s a knock on your door, ‘Hey, have you seen an 85-lb. tortoise running around?'” Hattaway joked to the news outlet.
During the tortoise’s second escape, she was spotted trying to cross an overpass on the highway. A neighbor was able to stop that from happening. The most recent backyard breakout led Potato to the highway once again. It was only a few hours after she had escaped the previous time.
Now, Hattaway has made sure to safely secure the gate that Potato kept escaping from. If the tortoise manages to do it again now, we will all know she is quite the escape artist.
Shells Being Painted in Florida
Meanwhile, there have been instances of animal abuse toward a couple of tortoises in Florida.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife are currently in search of the individual who painted a gopher tortoise’s shell hot pink.
According to WFTV 9, there have been two tortoises have been spotted with this pink-painted shell so far. Only one has been found and rescued so far. It was found in St. Lucie County with both a pink shell and head.
The act of painting a wild animal like a tortoise is incredibly illegal. It’s also cruel considering it can cause respiratory issues, can put toxic chemicals in the bloodstream, and also makes these animals very visible to all predators.
Authorities are urging people to call if they spot a tortoise or know anything about who could be responsible. The paint needs to be removed by a professional, otherwise, it could do more harm.