Zoo's Tortoise Spends 2 Weeks on the Lam, Gets Nowhere

Abuh was found less than 500 feet from the zoo
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2017 12:35 PM CDT
Zoo's Tortoise Spends 2 Weeks on the Lam, Gets Nowhere
An Aldabra giant tortoise eats watermelon in Virginia. This week, a similar tortoise was found less than 500 feet from the Japanese zoo it had escaped from two weeks earlier.   (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, L. Todd Spencer)

The top speed of a giant tortoise on dry land, according to Gizmodo, is about 0.17mph. That turned out to be great news for Japan's Shibukawa Animal Park, which had a 121-pound Aldabra giant tortoise named Abuh escape earlier this month. Channel News Asia reports Abuh is allowed to wander around the zoo during operating hours. But on Aug. 1, the 35-year-old tortoise wandered right on out, according to the Asahi Shimbun. Aldabra giant tortoises can survive for months without food or water, but the zoo was anxious to have Abuh back and was offering a $4,500 reward for her safe return.

The Asahi Shimbun reports Abuh was returned Wednesday after a family spotted her on a steep hill in a forest 160 feet or so from the zoo. But Channel News Asia states the tortoise was found in some bushes nearly 500 feet from the zoo. Regardless, Abuh didn't make it far. The zoo says she appears healthy and has been eating pears and watermelon since her return. "We were so relieved that she came back safely as she is so popular among children," zoo staffer Yoshimi Yamane says, per Gizmodo. Yamane says the zoo will try to take steps to prevent Abuh from escaping in the future, as this was actually her second disappearing act in a month. (More giant tortoise stories.)

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