Curtis has gone missing

TechnoCheese

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Curtis, my 12 inch Sulcata, has been missing for at least 24 hours. I last saw him on Sunday, when I came out and gave him some Mazuri, and noticed he was missing yesterday. I’ve looked for him all of last night and today (stayed home from school to look), and have not seen any sign of him.

He was given an entire yard to himself about 3 weeks ago, and I thought for sure the yard was secure enough. However, he is nowhere to be found inside the enclosure, and I cannot find him anywhere else on our heavily wooded property.

I’ve checked Facebook marketplace, Craigslist, Letgo, and offerup for any possible thieves, but have seen nothing for listings under “Tortoise”, “turtle”, and “Sulcata”, as well as general listings around my location.

I’ve also gotten the “nextdoor” app, and made a post there. I am about to print missing posters, and put them up around the block.

Does anyone have tips for finding him? It’s very cold out and going to go one degree below freezing tomorrow night, and it’s going to start raining in an hour or two until tomorrow evening. Will he survive this?

I am also very worried about him finding the creek on our property, and the busy road right in front of our house. We don’t have any close neighbors besides the neighborhood across that road.

It is not going to be above 60 degrees until the weekend.
 

ZEROPILOT

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Tortoises that escape are not hiding from you. They don't know that they've escaped.
They are looking for the same things: food and warmth and the feeling of safety.
I'd provide a pile of brightly colored food and see if he shows up.
I'd also tell the neighborhood kids and offer a small reward. Because they're great at finding them and they're also the number one culprit for stealing one.
 

TechnoCheese

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I’ve thought about putting food out, but with how cold and wet it’s been recently, I doubt he would go for it. I’m mostly worried that he’s found a spot and he’s just going to sit there and freeze, which he’s done recently despite sitting right next to his heated night box.

Regardless, I may put out a few dishes of mazuri and hope that none of the other animals (ants, birds, etc.) around our house find them first.
 

Macca33

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So sorry to hear this! Of course I hope you find him soon! I think food sounds like a good idea, and telling all the neighbors, etc. Can you look for clues in your yard to try to suss out how he escaped/his path of exit? Search for things your tortoise would be interested in as ZEROPILOT suggested...
Praying he returns safely.
 

TechnoCheese

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I’m not entirely sure if I should open all of the gates to his yard in case he tries to come back, or keep everything closed off in case he’s some how still in the yard and hiding extremely well. He always puts himself to bed in his night box except for right now and one other time, so I’m sure he knows where it is, but I don’t know if he can get back to it. He’s probably too cold to really do anything, too.

I just seeded his yard with mazuri and put a few dishes around our property, but I’m not sure it’ll do much because it’s raining.
 

ZEROPILOT

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It's been my experience that they don't go very far away initially.
I've mentioned before that I had an escaped tortoise that was found 9 days later hidden in plain sight.
And one Redfoot that escaped and all hope was lost on finding him....Until he was caught trying to break back into the pen for some food, I suppose.

At any rate, these stories most often end with a happy reunion.
Hang in there.
 

TechnoCheese

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What are the chances of a 3 and a half year old, 12 inch Sulcata surviving a few days in cold, wet weather? He was healthy as far as I know before this, so would he have a fighting chance? I really hope we can find him soon, but like I mentioned it’s going to get a degree below freezing for a little while tomorrow
 

xMario

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What are the chances of a 3 and a half year old, 12 inch Sulcata surviving a few days in cold, wet weather? He was healthy as far as I know before this, so would he have a fighting chance? I really hope we can find him soon, but like I mentioned it’s going to get a degree below freezing for a little while tomorrow


I dont have an answer to ur question but if u have a really bright light turn it on at night maybe he sees it and walks towards it
 

TechnoCheese

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Get down on hands and knees and look at things from a tortoise perspective. Feel around under every bush and brush pile.

How did he get out?
I honestly have no idea. One of the walls is a chain link fence so it’s not to most secure and I planned on covering it, but I really can’t find anywhere he definitely could have escaped. I would think he was stolen, but the only people that know he exist are the people that came to work on our septic system a few weeks ago, and you can’t see his yard from the road in front of our house. I’m still checking Facebook and Craigslist for ads, though
 

Sa Ga

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My heart aches for you! ? I can't even imagine!

Maybe try the bright, warm lights formerly suggested as well as make a trail back to his warm house of food. Big and bright enough that he can see it, and spread it out enough that it keeps him moving along but close enough that he can follow his way back.

Does he come when called? When he hears your voice? Sees you with something (like a fellow member said a white paper plate gets hers attn)? Keep looking low like Tom said, and talk out loud like you talk to Curtis (I talk to mine in a higher voice, like many people do with pets). Being cold and hungry may inspire him to head toward you.

Best wishes and please keep us posted! ❤
 

TechnoCheese

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My heart aches for you! ? I can't even imagine!

Maybe try the bright, warm lights formerly suggested as well as make a trail back to his warm house of food. Big and bright enough that he can see it, and spread it out enough that it keeps him moving along but close enough that he can follow his way back.

Does he come when called? When he hears your voice? Sees you with something (like a fellow member said a white paper plate gets hers attn)? Keep looking low like Tom said, and talk out loud like you talk to Curtis (I talk to mine in a higher voice, like many people do with pets). Being cold and hungry may inspire him to head toward you.

Best wishes and please keep us posted! ❤
He normally comes to me for food, but the one time he stayed outside in the cold and rain I found him tucked into his shell, freezing cold, and unmoving right next to his night box. This makes me really doubt that he would be out wandering any time soon, but I may try calling for him.
 

Sa Ga

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He normally comes to me for food, but the one time he stayed outside in the cold and rain I found him tucked into his shell, freezing cold, and unmoving right next to his night box. This makes me really doubt that he would be out wandering any time soon, but I may try calling for him.

Yeah, when they get too cold, they can't muster up enough strength to move, even if it's not far. Did you ever notice him gravitating toward a particular area of your yard when outside of his secured space? Does he tend to like a certain type of spot (like mine loves to go under this particular shrub in my yard and seems to like closed, tight spaces in general, so if she was missing, I'd probably start looking for her under shrubs with tighter spaces)?
 

TechnoCheese

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Yeah, when they get too cold, they can't muster up enough strength to move, even if it's not far. Did you ever notice him gravitating toward a particular area of your yard when outside of his secured space? Does he tend to like a certain type of spot (like mine loves to go under this particular shrub in my yard and seems to like closed, tight spaces in general, so if she was missing, I'd probably start looking for her under shrubs with tighter spaces)?
His night box is always the spot he returns to, and on the rare occasions he does get to go to a different yard (which has not happened recently since he was given a whole yard to himself), he would just sit and graze
 

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