Lansing family searches for missing pet tortoise

Rocky the tortoise went missing on June 17, 2018

Lansing, Mich (WLNS) – A Lansing family is searching for their 20-year-old 20-pound pet tortoise.

“Rocky came to us probably 18 years ago,” his owner Anne Smith said.

Anne said Rocky was last seen in the 500 block of North Fairview Ave. in Lansing. He escaped a sand pit in their backyard, and when somebody found him they didn’t know he was somebody’s pet, so they picked him up in a white van and brought him to a river.

Smith put up flyers and some are still posted throughout the community.
Even though Rocky disappeared more than a year ago, she believes there’s a chance he’s still alive.

“Last Sunday, the 30th, I received a phone call- we were out of town and a woman indicated that they walk along the park down the street and they saw a tortoise that looked like the pictures I’ve posted down there,” Smith said.

Rocky is a desert tortoise and while most people think of them as slow-moving reptiles, Emily Russell, an employee at Preuss Pets says that’s not always the case.

“They can really move, so people just don’t really expect them to get away and also because they’re larger they might think like oh, I’ll find it right away so they can get away from you pretty fast,” Russell said.

Russell said the main worry for rocky out in the wild is what he’s consuming.

“A lot of people are spraying their lawns this time of year with pesticides and fertilizers and bug killers and if he ingests something with that kind of poison on it it can be really dangerous,” Russell said.

She says there’s a chance the call that Smith received could have been a different tortoise, but if he survived the winter… it could be rocky. For now, Smith isn’t giving up hope.

“I go over there a couple times a day and walk around. It would awesome if we could find him,” Smith said.

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