65-pound African tortoise reunited with Shuswap family after a week-long wander - InfoNews

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65-pound African tortoise reunited with Shuswap family after a week-long wander

Harley-Quinn Bostock was reunited with her family's pet tortoise after he was missing for more than a week.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Joel Bostock
May 14, 2020 - 7:30 AM

A Tappen couple spent days looking for something you think would be hard to lose — a 65-pound tortoise.

Brandi Bostock says Cruz, the African Sulcata tortoise, was staying with her in-laws while she and her husband were moving.

“My in-laws had him in the basement in a shelter... made just for him temporarily… Now that it’s springtime we want him to be able to graze outside, so again (he was in) a little temporary enclosure he shouldn’t be able to get out of, but he’s super strong. He pushed it out while my father-in-law was watching him. We came over for dinner and that’s when my father-in-law realized he’d escaped.”

The family realized there was only a 40-minute window when Cruz might have escaped, so they started searching the area. They searched until sunset, and every other day they could.

“I like to call myself the optimist of the family,” Bostock says. “But on that last Friday when we were looking and we still had no sign of him, I had some fear. I thought, ‘Yeah, he probably is gone, or maybe someone picked him up on the side of the road.’ For someone that isn’t aware of what he is, he’s like a dinosaur, so I feel like he’d be very susceptible… someone saying, ‘Hey that’s cool, let’s take him.’ That was a fear.”

Cruz was exploring the Shuswap area for a week before he was finally found lounging in a nearby farmer’s field last Saturday.

“When we found him, I’m not going to lie, I cried. I had kind of come to the crossroads of ‘I think we can’t find him.’ When all of that did happen, I definitely realized how much my daughter loves him.”

Bostock assumes the tortoise made it that distance by wandering when the sun was out, and burrowing when it wasn’t. She says he likes to walk in circles more than in straight lines, which may be part of the reason the reptile hadn’t wandered further.

Bostock says Cruz has been a part of the family for 12 years and hopes a new, stronger enclosure will help to keep him around for many years to come.

“He’s like a pet rock. He eats, he sleeps and eats again. He walks around a bit on sunny days, but on the cold days he doesn’t move much. He loves watermelon, he definitely does have a bit of a personality, and I like to call him the grumpy old man.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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