100-Pound African Tortoise Spotted Walking Down a Pennsylvania Street

by Michael Freeman
An Aldabra giant tortoise looks out from its shell on Prison Island off Zanzibar, Tanzania.

Have you ever spotted a tortoise on the road and stopped to help it pass the road? I’m sure many of us have, but I doubt the ones you’ve encountered were never more than a few pounds. Pennsylvania residents, on the other hand, recently spotted a 100-pound African Tortoise strolling down the street.

Washington County residents in Pennsylvania called authorities last Sunday after spotting a huge 100-pound African Tortoise. Newsweek reports they feared it was a large snapping turtle. Jon Star, a Waterways Conservation officer, came to investigate and found that wasn’t the case.

“After I received the call, I went over to see what kind of turtle it really was because, if it was as big as they said it was, that’s a giant snapping turtle,” he detailed in a Facebook post. “Once there, I found the massive turtle that everyone feared and captured the beast! Turned out it was just someone’s pet African Tortoise.”

The Facebook post above shows just how big the tortoise is, so it’s understandable why people became concerned. It appears they saved the wandering soul and left it free in the great outdoors. “This big old turtle just wanted to go for a walk and be free,” Stark wrote. “Still not sure where he got loose from, but now he has a new home and a large area to roam.”

As the name suggests, African tortoises aren’t found here in North America. Despite this one being 100 pounds, they can actually reach 200 and live to be 150 years old. Their ability to adapt to radical temperature changes and live off of grass is what makes them great pets.

Firefighters Save Dog After Pet Tortoise Traps it Underground

Looking at the tortoise in the picture, it’s hard to imagine it being destructive or harmful in any way. Apparently, that’s a very wrong assumption to make, as a family’s pet tortoise trapped it underground, requiring professional rescuing.

The Washington Post reports the Fortin family in Scottsdale, Arizona had quite the frightening incident last Sunday. Their 10-year-old son, Kenton, noticed their 1-year-old French bulldog went missing. After calling the police and any authority they could think of, the family finally began hearing muffled barks in their backyard. As it turns out, their 15-year-old Sulcata Tortoise burrowed and trapped the dog with her.

“I had absolutely no idea how we were going to get him out,” Fortin continues. “I didn’t know why the tortoise wasn’t coming out, because I couldn’t imagine she wanted to be with him down there,” Michelle Fortin stated. Luckily, someone from the Phoenix Herpetological Sanctuary teamed up with the Scottsdale Fire Department and rescued the French bulldog.

I’ve heard of pets bullying one another, but a tortoise burying a dog?