Lost Hermann found after 9 months!

Donna Albu

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Peoria, Maricopa County, AZ
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! ❤️
You may not be able to reach him in his tunnel, but he'll be safe in there unless you get a flood (not too likely in our neck of the woods!) But you can usually bribe them to come out with super treats, the kind he shouldn't have but love to eat (something red). So glad he made his presence known!
 

Jacqui

Wanna be raiser of Lemon Drop tortoises
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A Land Far Away...
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! ❤️
Good luck on the hunt!
 

Jacqui

Wanna be raiser of Lemon Drop tortoises
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A Land Far Away...
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!
That is very wonderful!!
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2021
Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Maricopa, AZ
You may not be able to reach him in his tunnel, but he'll be safe in there unless you get a flood (not too likely in our neck of the woods!) But you can usually bribe them to come out with super treats, the kind he shouldn't have but love to eat (something red). So glad he made his presence known!
Right, not much chance of a flood, at least not for a month or two. Funny you should suggest bribing him; I actually did try that on Monday and Tuesday, with two forbidden strawberries. He LOVES them (raspberries, too), but I only give him a single berry once a month, if that... but they went untouched. But I am overjoyed he emerged to chow down on his regular fare, even if I didn't have luck in finding him afterward. I'm just so glad he's okay. :)
 

MenagerieGrl

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So, My Leopard buddy, Seymour has snuck out again, I have been checking his usual resting spots,(Locations I have found him repeatedly), but Nothing yet, at this point I'm NOT overly concerned.
We will typically cross paths during the day. and at some point, I turn my head and BAM, there he will be.
Several years back my Boxie got out, and she was MIA for 3 months, then I heard a rustle in the leaves, and there she was.
So . . . I would say, NEVER GIVE UP, unless you see the unfortunate...
 
Joined
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Location (City and/or State)
Maricopa, AZ
So, My Leopard buddy, Seymour has snuck out again, I have been checking his usual resting spots,(Locations I have found him repeatedly), but Nothing yet, at this point I'm NOT overly concerned.
We will typically cross paths during the day. and at some point, I turn my head and BAM, there he will be.
Several years back my Boxie got out, and she was MIA for 3 months, then I heard a rustle in the leaves, and there she was.
So . . . I would say, NEVER GIVE UP, unless you see the unfortunate...
Excellent advice! I'm still new to tortoise-keeping, so I'm always worrying about losing my sully and/or doing something that could harm him. This week has demonstrated that he is smarter than I am, when it comes to hiding. And I'm good with that, as long as he's okay. I really have been comforted by the threads about tortoises showing up just fine after having been missing for months.
 

MenagerieGrl

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El Sobrante, CA.
They are chameleons.
My old room mate had a Sulcata (PeeWee, named when he was a wee tike ) he was probably 15# and 12" in diameter (as best as I can remember at the time). He had a spot in the house where he would sleep, and would wake up and wander out to the back yard, wandering around during the day, occasionally if he didn't head back in, he had a routine, in time he would hunker down outside, several times, he would NOT be able to be found even considering his size...
Who would not be able to see a basketball sitting in the yard?
But, the next day, there he would be, wandering and foraging.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2021
Messages
23
Location (City and/or State)
Maricopa, AZ
They are chameleons.
My old room mate had a Sulcata (PeeWee, named when he was a wee tike ) he was probably 15# and 12" in diameter (as best as I can remember at the time). He had a spot in the house where he would sleep, and would wake up and wander out to the back yard, wandering around during the day, occasionally if he didn't head back in, he had a routine, in time he would hunker down outside, several times, he would NOT be able to be found even considering his size...
Who would not be able to see a basketball sitting in the yard?
But, the next day, there he would be, wandering and foraging.
They really are chameleons, it amazes me. I'm considering changing Leo's name to David Blaine after this experience.
 

Gillian M

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Jordan
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.
Don't give up hope.

Good luck.
 

Loohan

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Jan 5, 2015
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North-Central Arkansas
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! ❤️
Great news but where I live I would wonder, which animal ate that? A rat, possum, raccoon, wild box turtle? You might set up a trail cam near this bowl to see if it is really him, and which direction he's traveling.
 

Cathie G

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Aug 9, 2018
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Lancaster
So, My Leopard buddy, Seymour has snuck out again, I have been checking his usual resting spots,(Locations I have found him repeatedly), but Nothing yet, at this point I'm NOT overly concerned.
We will typically cross paths during the day. and at some point, I turn my head and BAM, there he will be.
Several years back my Boxie got out, and she was MIA for 3 months, then I heard a rustle in the leaves, and there she was.
So . . . I would say, NEVER GIVE UP, unless you see the unfortunate...
Yes. That's what I was thinking. They don't run away from home. They just go on excursions. The little bratts. They come back around though 😉
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2021
Messages
23
Location (City and/or State)
Maricopa, AZ
Great news but where I live I would wonder, which animal ate that? A rat, possum, raccoon, wild box turtle? You might set up a trail cam near this bowl to see if it is really him, and which direction he's traveling.
Hi @Loohan! I live in a suburb of the Phoenix metro area, and my backyard is surrounded by tall block walls and a gate with no clearance under it. I haven't seen any of the critters you mentioned. Also, my yard is mostly covered by landscaping rock, several trees, some shrubs, and a rosemary plant. So, I have a fairly good idea of who's wandering in and out of my yard - I've seen rabbits, quail, a cat (occasionally), and once, a roadrunner. I have been thinking of getting some kind of camera, though, because I would love to see where he goes into the rosemary - he's very well hidden.

His food dish is inside of an insulated dog house that sits on our porch. It has vinyl freezer strips in the doorway, and a ramp at the entrance (it's a little too high off the ground for him to walk in/out). He knows that his food and fresh water is inside, and I can't imagine another animal venturing in there. But on Friday, I confirmed that it was Leo - he emerged from his hiding spot while I was running an errand. I checked his dish to see that he'd eaten some, and thought I'd missed him - but I found him patrolling the yard. He looked just fine, but very dirty. Friday's temps were forecast to hit 106, so I brought him inside and gave him a good hour-long soak, during which he pooped more than I could have imagined possible... I had to drain and refill the sink three times, LOL. After his soak was done, I decided to keep him inside until Saturday morning. He had a quiet night, another soak on Saturday morning, then went outside for the day. I haven't seen him since I let him out Saturday morning but I feel much more confident that he's just found a nice, cool place to get out of the heat. Temps over the weekend topped out in the low-to-mid 90s, so I wasn't too concerned. But we're getting to the time of year where we'll see highs exceeding 110 fairly often - I am wondering if there's something I could buy that would help me locate him in the rosemary, because I'd just feel much better if I could bring him inside during the hottest parts of the day.
 

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