Lost Tortoise: Been missing for 2 years, Fremont, California

wizardman55x

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Fremont, California
Hi everyone, my name is Andrew. This is my second time being on the Tortoise forum and I am fairly new to this forum. I have concerns regarding my tortoise, who has been gone for approximately 2 or more years(he was lost in October, 2012, but I cannot recall the specific date). My tortoise got lost when I put him out in the front lawn, which is not fenced. I went into the house to get him something to eat, and then, 10 minutes later, he was gone. I dug and dug and dug at least 6 inches of loose soil around the lawn and my tortoise was still nowhere to be found(remember: I did all this digging right after I realized my tortoise was gone). I am sort of heartbroken, but I know I need to keep searching since that is the only way I can get my tortoise back.
  • What I did:At the very moment my tortoise was gone, I put up posters taped to the street utility poles around the neighborhood. Despite my very best efforts, my tortoise remained not to be found. I even rang doorbells(pretty much all the houses in the neighborhood, which stretched for at least 3 blocks. I did this on the day the tortoise was gone at the very instant it disappeared and for several days after as well.
  • Where I am now: So far, in this year, I have remained fairly inactive due to high school. I have very little time to search for my turtles. I live in my parent's house. I still have high hopes that my tortoise is at least in the hands of a well- intentioned neighbor or if it is not, it is still in the vicinity of my home. I want tips on how I can continue my search for the tortoise since I still have time on the weekends(an hour or two).
  • Overall, my family members are really demotivated and do not seem to think my tortoise will be found, so at this note, I am alone on my search. Any suggestions are welcome and I would extremely appreciate it. Thank you very much.
  • Also, here is a picture of my tortoise in the bottom. kevin china 1-1 163.JPG kevin china 1-1 163.JPG kevin china 1-1 163.JPG
 

dmmj

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Salutations.
Russians ( which it is one) are roamers,. They wander for miles in the wild, I sadly suspect after 2 years, it is long gone. sorry.
 

Jodie

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Sorry. That sucks. Doesn't seem likely you will find him after that amount of time.
 

wizardman55x

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hey dude! 2 years is a long time, I'm sorry but i don't think you are going to find him:(. but if i where u, i would keep posting flyers around and post a missing tort add on craigslist/ebay.

Hi, Russian/Sulcata/Tortoise, I have tried putting posters around the neighborhood, but not recently. I have posted an advertisement on Craigslist, designated it to be in the San Francisco Bay Area, but have gotten no response in regards to my tortoise(for the past two years). I thank you for the suggestion, though, and I will continue to put up posters around the neighborhood. My primary concern is that my tortoise probably did not go off on its own, since it disappeared within the first 15 minutes of my losing it. I assumed it was probably picked up by someone on the very day it was lost, so I rang doorbells. Most of the responses I got from most of my neighbors was either they never saw a tortoise, or they would help me in my search, but still have not seen the tortoise. Despite the tortoise being lost for a long time, I somehow still have this hope lingering in me saying that the tortoise is still near my home, though I do not know where. I would welcome any more tips.
 

wizardman55x

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Salutations.
Russians ( which it is one) are roamers,. They wander for miles in the wild, I sadly suspect after 2 years, it is long gone. sorry.

I know for sure Russian Tortoise are roamers. In the wilderness of Central Asia, they could hike for many miles in the desert. But here in the bay area, I have this hunch that someone may have picked him up, though I am not sure if they sent my tortoise to an animal shelter. I feel sort of guilty that I have been inactive in my search for him, but I still need to keep trying. I looked at the Tri-City Animal shelter for my tortoise online, but no results showed up. Where could he possibly be?
 

dmmj

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I agree with you.more than likely someone picked him up, not trying to be mean though.
 

wellington

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So sorry. Is it possible something, like a bird could have carried it off? What bird predators are in your area that you may see often? I would think that if one of your neighbors had him, they would have returned him to you. If it makes you feel better to keep looking, then do it, but, just don't get your hopes up. Two years, not that it can't happen, but it is a long time for a small tortoise that can travel many miles. Good luck in whatever you do. Really would be nice to hear that you found him.
 

wizardman55x

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dude there is always hope! my neighbors lost a russian tort and they found it almost 2 years later!!!! it was only 1 house down from them!

If that is the case with your neighbors, then I will just have to keep looking for my tortoise. He must be close, even if he is not. I also observed his personality when I did have him. He usually buries himself in the soil in a nearby location. For example, this is not the first time I lost my tortoise. I actually lost my tortoise 3 times. For the purpose of simplicity, I will just describe the second time I lost my tortoise. In my second time of losing my tortoise, I also left him out in the front lawn, which is not fenced. He disappeared from my sight after I went inside the house to go get him some water to drink. At the time I searched for him, I found him under the bushes in my front lawn 2 weeks later(alive and well), so he must not have gone far even after 2 years either. I still have hope I will find my tortoise. Thank you for giving me that success story. I feel a little bit more motivated to search for my tortoise.
 

wizardman55x

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So sorry. Is it possible something, like a bird could have carried it off? What bird predators are in your area that you may see often? I would think that if one of your neighbors had him, they would have returned him to you. If it makes you feel better to keep looking, then do it, but, just don't get your hopes up. Two years, not that it can't happen, but it is a long time for a small tortoise that can travel many miles. Good luck in whatever you do. Really would be nice to hear that you found him.

Hi Wellington, I remember you replied to a post I posted on this forum two years ago. Remember? It was about the same tortoise I am finding now. I still have not found him. The birds in my area are not predatory. In my area, there are crows, songbirds, sea gulls, geese, blue jays. That is pretty much all that is at the top of my head, though I am sure there are much more birds to be found. In regards to a neighbor that could be in possession of my tortoise, it is probably my next door neighbor to the right of my house. I always seem to have a tendency to look around there(of course, after I receive permission from my neighbors). I still have hope that my tortoise is within the vicinity of my home and I will keep searching. Thanks for the reply and I hope this information will allow you to provide me with more advice and suggestions.
 

wizardman55x

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I agree with you.more than likely someone picked him up, not trying to be mean though.

I understand what you are saying. It would be pretty interesting if I had found a tortoise roaming on the street, but I would always try to return the tortoise to its owner, because I know that's the right thing to do. Plus, that would save the owner his or her worries or anxiety of the missing tortoise. I am actually inclined to think that my tortoise is either still in my front lawn(still not fenced) or in the hands of a neighbor(most likely with good intentions). If a neighbor had my tortoise, he or she is probably taking good care of it, and that relieves me of my worries. But if my tortoise is roaming the streets(for 2 years), then he is probably either starving or hibernating(since it is close to winter here in the San Francisco Bay area). For me, I would just keep posting flyers around the neighborhood to raise awareness of my lost tortoise, since I have the inclination to think my tortoise is still in my neighborhood.
 

wellington

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I believe crows and seagulls could carry a small russian out. However, if you don't think that would probably be the case, then keep looking. Start back to the beginning, as if you just lost him. Knock on the same neighbors doors and remind them you are still looking for your tortoise and show them a picture of him. Do the flyers as suggested and contact any local vets and rescues. When you do try to look for him, be sure it's not the hottest part of the day when he most likely would be trying to find a cool place. But, do look when the sun first comes out, he should be trying to warm himself up from the cooler night. Also be sure to look in taller grasses or around bushes. They don't like to be exposed with no cover and can still get sun in bushy areas that the sun filters through.

Sorry, I don't remember, but I barely remember what happened last week, so don't feel bad:D
Good luck. Please be sure to let us know when or if you find him.
 

wizardman55x

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Fremont, California
I believe crows and seagulls could carry a small russian out. However, if you don't think that would probably be the case, then keep looking. Start back to the beginning, as if you just lost him. Knock on the same neighbors doors and remind them you are still looking for your tortoise and show them a picture of him. Do the flyers as suggested and contact any local vets and rescues. When you do try to look for him, be sure it's not the hottest part of the day when he most likely would be trying to find a cool place. But, do look when the sun first comes out, he should be trying to warm himself up from the cooler night. Also be sure to look in taller grasses or around bushes. They don't like to be exposed with no cover and can still get sun in bushy areas that the sun filters through.

Sorry, I don't remember, but I barely remember what happened last week, so don't feel bad:D
Good luck. Please be sure to let us know when or if you find him.

It is currently at night where I live, so I will get up when the sun first comes out in the morning to look for him. As you have said, crows and seagulls have the potential of carrying away my Russian tortoise, but as you said again, I am more inclined to keep searching for my tortoise. As I have said before, this is not the first time I lost my tortoise. The second time I lost my tortoise, it took a lot of effort to find him. He was hidden beneath a bush, but not only that, he was beneath another layer of soil under a small pile of rocks. I then had to pull him(gently) out. I will stick to your advice of posting flyers around the neighborhood, contacting the local vet/shelter, and reminding neighbors.
 
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