Tortoise walked away outside-- any ideas to attract him back?

Chip's mom

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It's really hard to see them when they get lost. My tortoise doesn't really dig but he will find a dip and start hunkering down. So feeling around is the best. I've had to do that in my outdoor enclosure that I know for sure he can't get out of. He was wedged sideways in a plant airing out his plastron when I finally found him.🤔😁👀
Thanks Cathie! We have done some though our property is over an acre and 1/2 of the back is wild brush with about an acre of wild land behind as well, so I don't know that we can do enough hand searches to find him. That is funny about yours- I've seen Chip do that to try to get out of the garden before!
 

Chip's mom

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After searching outside a couple look inside the house as sixty year old Daisy turned up in the telephone directory having sneaked inside whilst mum was putting sixty-seven year old Jacky to bed. Ask your neighbours as well?

MaNaAk
Yes, we have alerted all neighbors, many kids helped in the search, and gave flyers to the next 2 neighborhoods. Also listed in Next Door and on Facebook.
 

Chip's mom

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Hi all, thank you for the feedback. We have not found Chip yet, but a nice story... Chip always seems to want to walk South and walks in a very determined manner. We think of him as a rescue and don't know his background (got him from horrible Tortoise Town before I knew how sketchy they are), maybe that is the direction of his original home.

Anyway, I put flyers in neighbors' mailboxes one neighborhood behind ours. There was one property I've wanted to search that is South of us. The owner called in response to the flyer and said we are welcome to search his property. While I sadly didn't find Chip I discovered the most beautiful place with shade, sun, a running stream, and lots of greenery. If Chip must be lost I like to think of him in this lovely place for a tortoise.

Mike told me he'd lost a pet box turtle as a child in that area and thought of him enjoying the happy place!

Of course still hoping to find Chip but somewhat less despondent now.
 

Sarah2020

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My Russian tort is active AM and less active PM. I recon it has burrowed and they can last a while without food and water. Do not give up. Provide fresh water and food AM each day and observe for any activity. Hope it shows up.
 

MaNaAk

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My Russian tort is active AM and less active PM. I recon it has burrowed and they can last a while without food and water. Do not give up. Provide fresh water and food AM each day and observe for any activity. Hope it shows up.
Did he have a microchip?

MaNaAk
 

Cathie G

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After searching outside a couple look inside the house as sixty year old Daisy turned up in the telephone directory having sneaked inside whilst mum was putting sixty-seven year old Jacky to bed. Ask your neighbours as well?

MaNaAk
Sapphire can't get out of his outdoor enclosure. I know that he's in there somewhere. I have lids that can be locked. He ain't going anywhere if I can help it. I still have to play hide and seek though. He has large edible plants to run around in.
 

TechnoCheese

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As someone who has had their (admittedly much larger) tortoise escape more times than they'd like to admit, dont give up hope. almost a year ago exactly, someone left a gate unlocked and Curtis, my sulcata, got out. 2 weeks later, he was picked up by someone 15 miles away! The time before that, maybe 3 or 4 years ago now, he escaped in February and survived a few rainy, slightly below freezing days, with no lasting effects.

These guys are very tough, and I've found that it's often a matter of waiting for other people to find them before you do, if they've left your yard. Good luck!
 

Cathie G

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As someone who has had their (admittedly much larger) tortoise escape more times than they'd like to admit, dont give up hope. almost a year ago exactly, someone left a gate unlocked and Curtis, my sulcata, got out. 2 weeks later, he was picked up by someone 15 miles away! The time before that, maybe 3 or 4 years ago now, he escaped in February and survived a few rainy, slightly below freezing days, with no lasting effects.

These guys are very tough, and I've found that it's often a matter of waiting for other people to find them before you do, if they've left your yard. Good luck!
I have to say hello 🤗 and I have missed you 😘
 

Cathie G

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Missed you too! I'm finding that my 1:50 Bio class is great for tortoise forum perusing :p
I can just about imagine how beneficial this site would be for that. There's so many scientists and people talking. Pros and cons of this that and the other. It's a beautiful place.🤗
 

Chip's mom

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Day 6 of Chip missing, such a hard week. Anyone reading this please never take your eyes off of the torts, I never would have thought he could vanish in less than a minute. Part of me thinks a bird got him, but he loved walking so much, I think most likely he walked off.

Our neighborhood is surrounded by several acres of wild land, so he could really be anywhere. I'll post what we've done so far in our search in case it's helpful for anyone else.

1) Neighborhood search with around 20 adults/kids

2) Feeling in all the brush

3) Looking for him in the morning as the sun comes up and throughout the morning and day

4) Walking all the neighborhoods nearby

5) Text alerts to our neighborhood, including asking people to inform their landscapers to look for him and to be careful. Included a Spanish translation.

6) Posted on Next Door, Craig's list, Facebook page and local groups

7) Alerted all local rescues and vets

8) Printed flyers to put in mailboxes in the surrounding neighborhoods and let people know who were outside walking dogs or gardening.


Things making me anxious:

I saw a fox the other day and a large bird, there is a lot of tree work and yard work being done as leaves start to fall. Thinking that someone could think he's just wild and not get him. Thinking that someone could take him as their own pet or sell him and he wouldn't have a good life.


Things making me optimistic:

Hearing that many tortoises are found, and that it can take time. Knowing that he could possibly survive the winter here in PA by burrowing down. Knowing that he had a tough life before we got him (from Tortoise Town-- boo and beware of them!!) and he is a resilient and tough guy. Knowing that he loves roaming and hoping he is having an enjoyable adventure.

Thanks to all for the support!
 

Chip's mom

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I’m so sorry you’ve lost your tort. In the UK a family got their tort back after 2 years. Never give up! I hope he returns soon.
Oh wow, that is amazing. Did the tort return on his own or did someone find him? Ours really likes to walk a ton, so we feel like he will keep going and going!
 

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