US police car picks up runaway giant tortoise

August 4, 2014 | By | In Advice

Tortoises may be famed for their distinct lack of speed, but one giant tortoise still managed to give authorities the slip in California, this weekend.

The stealthy tortoise managed such a perfect escape that not even his owners knew where he’d got to. It took two police officers in Alhambra, Los Angeles to capture the runaway reptile and wrangle it into custody.

“The tortoise did try to make a run for it, but our officers are pretty fast. Almost had a pursuit!” says the Alhambra Police Department’s Facebook page. It ended up taking two officers to manouevre the 70kg beast into the back of the police car – “and our cuffs…well not practical in this situation” the officers commented.

“The tortoise did try to make a run for it, but our officers are pretty fast.

The tortoise, which is named Clark, was taken to an animal rescue centre and was later collected by his stunned owners. The centre identified Clark as an African spurred tortoise, normally found along the southern edges of the Sahara desert.

Checking out the giant tortoise, Gary Wilfong from the California Turtle and Tortoise Club told the Los Angeles Times that Clark appeared to be a male, aged around 18- to 20-years-old. Wilfong added that tortoises can hit a top speed of up to 1mph – “if they really want to”.

Owning giant tortoises is illegal in California without a permit, but Clark’s owners are not being prosecuted on this occasion. Alhambra police said: “We enjoy keeping families together, so an exception was made in this case.”

Picture: Facebook – Alhambra Police

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