Lost Hermann found after 9 months!

ErinInCA

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Joined
Sep 4, 2020
Messages
24
Location (City and/or State)
CA
Last summer (August), our (then 3 years old) Hermann disappeared from his outdoor enclosure. We searched everywhere, of course. After about one month later, I gave up hope and grieved. We thought a predator must have taken him. This winter, there were multiple long periods of freeze and snow.

Fast forward 9 months - he appeared happy and healthy in my husbands shed (in May)! He looks great, is active, and ate Mazuri immediately. We’re really in shock over it! Thankfully, we still had his whole setup - I was literally listing it for sale this week!

We live in North Carolina. I just wanted to share this as such an amazing story that illustrates the resilience of these animals. They are amazing!

Oh, and we’re making him a way more secure, larger outdoor enclosure now!
 

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LeoTheWaywardTortoise

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Dec 12, 2021
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45
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Maricopa, AZ
OMG, this gives me such hope! My sulcata, Leo, has vanished from our backyard. The last time I saw him was mid-afternoon on Sunday, when I hand-fed him some dandelion greens. He's only about ten inches long, but he's been having a growth spurt in the last two or three months - markedly larger and heavier (though I haven't weighed him). I've searched the yard countless times, have walked the perimeter over and over and over to see if there has been any sign of digging there (or anywhere else) and have found nothing. I've looked under every tree and in/under every shrub - no Leo. The *only* place I can't search as thoroughly as I want to is our sprawling rosemary shrub. I take him in every afternoon/evening, and I almost couldn't find him on Saturday afternoon - looked in all his usual places several times, and my husband joined me in the search, but came up empty. I decided to look again after dark, and I found him partially obscured in the rosemary... the first time he's done that. The flashlight made his carapace coloring stand out more than it did in the daylight. But we've searched it as well as we could, lifting up the branches as much as possible, but that thing has been growing unchecked since 2014. I'll be pruning it back to its trunk on Friday, which is my next day off.

I am glad I've been diligent about soaking him daily for at least an hour prior to his disappearance; he soaked for two hours on Sunday morning. And he's been eating very well until he vanished. I've continued to put fresh food and water out for him but it's gone untouched. I'm very concerned with him getting overheated, the temps will be ~106 on Thursday and Friday, so I can only hope that he'll make it if he's wedged in deep in the rosemary, and that the denseness of the plant will protect him. If he's not there, the only conclusion I can come to is that something/someone jumped our block wall/fence and grabbed him. Seems very unlikely, but I don't know what else to think. I won't be able to part with his indoor enclosure and outdoor house/mat/etc. for a long time, just in case he turns up. Your story gives me so much hope!
 

Sarah2020

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Delighted that you are reunited. Just goes to show they find a nice corner and settle down.
 

Sarah2020

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OMG, this gives me such hope! My sulcata, Leo, has vanished from our backyard. The last time I saw him was mid-afternoon on Sunday, when I hand-fed him some dandelion greens. He's only about ten inches long, but he's been having a growth spurt in the last two or three months - markedly larger and heavier (though I haven't weighed him). I've searched the yard countless times, have walked the perimeter over and over and over to see if there has been any sign of digging there (or anywhere else) and have found nothing. I've looked under every tree and in/under every shrub - no Leo. The *only* place I can't search as thoroughly as I want to is our sprawling rosemary shrub. I take him in every afternoon/evening, and I almost couldn't find him on Saturday afternoon - looked in all his usual places several times, and my husband joined me in the search, but came up empty. I decided to look again after dark, and I found him partially obscured in the rosemary... the first time he's done that. The flashlight made his carapace coloring stand out more than it did in the daylight. But we've searched it as well as we could, lifting up the branches as much as possible, but that thing has been growing unchecked since 2014. I'll be pruning it back to its trunk on Friday, which is my next day off.

I am glad I've been diligent about soaking him daily for at least an hour prior to his disappearance; he soaked for two hours on Sunday morning. And he's been eating very well until he vanished. I've continued to put fresh food and water out for him but it's gone untouched. I'm very concerned with him getting overheated, the temps will be ~106 on Thursday and Friday, so I can only hope that he'll make it if he's wedged in deep in the rosemary, and that the denseness of the plant will protect him. If he's not there, the only conclusion I can come to is that something/someone jumped our block wall/fence and grabbed him. Seems very unlikely, but I don't know what else to think. I won't be able to part with his indoor enclosure and outdoor house/mat/etc. for a long time, just in case he turns up. Your story gives me so much hope!
Sorry about this fingers crossed he is in the rosemary, as they can wedge into small places. Do not give up and keep looking. They do burrow could it be under a shed or some cool / shady place in the garden. Good luck.
 

LeoTheWaywardTortoise

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Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Dec 12, 2021
Messages
45
Location (City and/or State)
Maricopa, AZ
Sorry about this fingers crossed he is in the rosemary, as they can wedge into small places. Do not give up and keep looking. They do burrow could it be under a shed or some cool / shady place in the garden. Good luck.
Thank you. The rosemary is the only place remaining that we haven't been able to completely check. Guess I'll find out Friday... thanks again!
 

LeoTheWaywardTortoise

Member
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Joined
Dec 12, 2021
Messages
45
Location (City and/or State)
Maricopa, AZ
Anything new as far as your tort is concerned?

Hope to hear good news.
No, I'm actually at work for another six hours so I won't be able to see if he's reappeared until later. I left food and fresh water, as I intend to do every day, so fingers are crossed that even if I can't find him, he'll have eaten some of his food. Thank you for asking.
 

Donna Albu

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 15, 2014
Messages
101
Location (City and/or State)
Peoria, Maricopa County, AZ
OMG, this gives me such hope! My sulcata, Leo, has vanished from our backyard. The last time I saw him was mid-afternoon on Sunday, when I hand-fed him some dandelion greens. He's only about ten inches long, but he's been having a growth spurt in the last two or three months - markedly larger and heavier (though I haven't weighed him). I've searched the yard countless times, have walked the perimeter over and over and over to see if there has been any sign of digging there (or anywhere else) and have found nothing. I've looked under every tree and in/under every shrub - no Leo. The *only* place I can't search as thoroughly as I want to is our sprawling rosemary shrub. I take him in every afternoon/evening, and I almost couldn't find him on Saturday afternoon - looked in all his usual places several times, and my husband joined me in the search, but came up empty. I decided to look again after dark, and I found him partially obscured in the rosemary... the first time he's done that. The flashlight made his carapace coloring stand out more than it did in the daylight. But we've searched it as well as we could, lifting up the branches as much as possible, but that thing has been growing unchecked since 2014. I'll be pruning it back to its trunk on Friday, which is my next day off.

I am glad I've been diligent about soaking him daily for at least an hour prior to his disappearance; he soaked for two hours on Sunday morning. And he's been eating very well until he vanished. I've continued to put fresh food and water out for him but it's gone untouched. I'm very concerned with him getting overheated, the temps will be ~106 on Thursday and Friday, so I can only hope that he'll make it if he's wedged in deep in the rosemary, and that the denseness of the plant will protect him. If he's not there, the only conclusion I can come to is that something/someone jumped our block wall/fence and grabbed him. Seems very unlikely, but I don't know what else to think. I won't be able to part with his indoor enclosure and outdoor house/mat/etc. for a long time, just in case he turns up. Your story gives me so much hope!
Erin, I'm betting Leo is under the rosemary, and has dug himself a tunnel to relax and cool off in. They seem to know the forthcoming weather, and prepare in advance. I'd be inclined to trim back the rosemary, but not destroy it completely. It's a good place for him, and it's going to be hot for at least the next week. He's ready!
 

LeoTheWaywardTortoise

Member
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Joined
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Messages
45
Location (City and/or State)
Maricopa, AZ
Erin, I'm betting Leo is under the rosemary, and has dug himself a tunnel to relax and cool off in. They seem to know the forthcoming weather, and prepare in advance. I'd be inclined to trim back the rosemary, but not destroy it completely. It's a good place for him, and it's going to be hot for at least the next week. He's ready!
Thanks so much, Donna. The more I think about this, it's the only conclusion that makes sense. I really, REALLY appreciate your easing my anxiety on this. He's such a character - he showed up on our front porch back in October, and despite our best efforts (and a false alarm) we were unable to locate his owner. We've got decades of experience as cat guardians, but a tortoise? Never imagined having one. I've learned *so much* from the fine folks on this site, and I've taken all the advice and experience to heart, just trying to do my best for Leo. He's grown so much, and is feisty as hell. Now, we cannot imagine being without him.

I will take your excellent advice to trim the rosemary, but leave it intact enough so he can be sheltered. I will be overjoyed to find him, and if he's not there... well, clearly, it can only be because he's discovered a portal to an alternate timeline or something. :) Thanks again!!
 

LeoTheWaywardTortoise

Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Dec 12, 2021
Messages
45
Location (City and/or State)
Maricopa, AZ
Erin, I'm betting Leo is under the rosemary, and has dug himself a tunnel to relax and cool off in. They seem to know the forthcoming weather, and prepare in advance. I'd be inclined to trim back the rosemary, but not destroy it completely. It's a good place for him, and it's going to be hot for at least the next week. He's ready!
Donna, I just got home from work and checked his food dish. COMPLETELY EMPTY! He must have emerged, eaten, and headed back to his spot under the rosemary because I still cannot find him, LOL. But I am beyond relieved to know he’s okay and is not stuck. Still going to trim the rosemary, but only enough so I can more easily retrieve him when necessary. Thanks again to you and everyone else who has offered encouragement and words of wisdom! ❤️
 
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