Stolen Manouria Torts in GA/Heartbroken

ALDABRAMAN

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We have seen an increase in tortoise thefts in the SW Florida area recently also!
 

Sheryl

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Thanks so much everyone for your concerns AND the great ideas. I had not thought about contacting FEDX, or even about placing a 'Wanted' ad in the reptile arena and such. I have a friend who is going to set up a trail cam, but I need to find a cheap place to purchase a couple of tort shells as my decoys. Any ideas?

The Atlanta TV reporter has now contacted me 3 times about doing this story, but I'm just weary of exposure to the wrong people. I've got a host of adjectives (our wonderful mods would flag me!) for these idiots (NOT the word I use!), and my heart is just aching for my 2 friends. It's 3:10a now, can't sleep. Yes, my eyes are glued to the backyard.

I just wish I knew why. I really, really do.

Sheryl
 

Team Gomberg

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I'm sorry to hear this has happened to you.

Now, I don't mean to be insensitive...I'm genuinely curious. What would spark a theif's interest in your torts?
 

Sheryl

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I'm really not sure why someone wanted to steal the 2 Manouria, unless it was for an exotics market. I know less than 10 people who even knew they were here, and these folks are true friends.
 

dmmj

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Simple, they either were looking for some, or in their minds larger tortoises = more money.
 

Yvonne G

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I'm sure it all boils down to those ignorant people on craigslist and other sites who try to sell their $200 tortoise for exorbitant prices. You see sulcatas all the time priced way high. Gives non-tortoise people the wrong idea of the value of tortoises.

I'll bet your tortoise were taken because someone wanted to make a quick buck. They don't know a thing about tortoises or their care. Just want to sell them and get rich quick.
 

verda

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I think my torts will be in door with us when we are asleep or not home, I can't imagine not having my little one anymore. I have a fenced in yard that locks up but somehow when the lawn guys come they manage to open it themselves without me unlocking it.
 

Sheryl

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Hopefully I can get a trail cam set up this weekend. I've brought my Redfoot back inside to her winter setup, as she was in a separated area within the backyard. Now I'm going to have to completely rethink how to secure her outdoors. And I WAS going to move my 4 RES and 1 Painted outside this Summer. My, how quickly plans have now changed because of all this.

Sheryl
 

rjwilson

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Sheryl,

I live on Clover St. At 3:30 pm today I took my dog out into the backyard and he promptly freaked out as he saw this big tortoise staring at him.

I wrangled the dog back inside, then went back out to investigate the tortoise.

I got a few pics of him but I didn't know what to do, so I went inside to look up tips on my computer. When I went back out, I could not find the tortoise; I believe he had gone to hide in the bushes in my backyard. I didn't expect he would move that fast!

Unfortunately I had to leave for work so I did not have time to spend looking for him.

I was telling a friend about it, and she told me she had seen a police blotter post about missing tortoises, which is how I ended up finding your post here. The tortoise does match your description, he had a C on his shell.

So at least he is still in the neighborhood, and hopefully we can find him (and the girl, too). He might still be in my backyard somewhere and if I do see him when I get home I will secure him for you.

Feel free to get in touch with me: helix711[@]gmail.com
 

Kim444

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Sounds like perhaps your torts are escape artists rather than being stolen. I hopw you find them.
 

Sheryl

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**UPDATE** TORTOISES FOUND!
I am immensely grateful for neighbours on the street behind me who did not ignore seeing a tortoise in their yard, but rather took action.
Both tortoises have now been found (a week apart) and appear to be fine. Here's the story on their return.

Last Tuesday afternoon while I was away relaxing at the beach, I received a call from Athens police that he was at the location of a large tortoise reported in the front yard. The homeowner remembered seeing the report in the paper of a stolen tortoise. The location was the street behind me! The police needed me to come with a photo of the tortoise to identify her in order for him to release her to me. Since I was 5 hours away, I had a neighbor go and I sent her a photo. When she got to that house there were 2 police cars (slow day?!), and Balu was chomping away on clover. Since my neighbor has an older cell phone, the photo was very dark and one of the cops was hesitant to let her take Balu. Finally the other cop used common sense, saying how many people in this town even own a tortoise, and this was a block away from the theft. So Balu was returned home safe and sound.

As you can read from a post earlier today, the 2nd tortoise (Chae) was located this afternoon in the backyard of a house on the same street Balu was found. Just a few houses away. It's a small world indeed, as they knew someone who knew someone who had tortoises. The connection was made, and Chae is now home seemingly in good shape.

The tortoises are now in a different location, as I cannot confirm 100% if they were stolen or if they escaped. I still cannot find ANY void in the fencing. They were missing exactly one week apart (and found exactly one week apart!). The backyard was entered for sure.

I'm just overjoyed that Balu and Chae are finally home again. What a great feeling.

Sheryl
 

naturalman91

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JUMPIN FOR JOY FOR YA!!! maybe still put up a camera tho that way you can even just monitor tort activity and catch them in the act of the great escape
 

Kathy Coles

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I am super happy for you. I agree with your idea that they were probably stolen and "dropped off" on the next street. If they had gotten out they would not have gone together. It's unlikely they would have played follow the leader.
 
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