Missing tortoise crawls away from owners in Apache Junction - Fox 2 News Headlines

Missing tortoise crawls away from owners in Apache Junction

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APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. -

The search is on for a missing tortoise and now the owners are trying to track down "Tootsie."

A neighbor tells FOX 10 he saw the 80 pound tortoise walking through his yard and took video of it.  That was the last time the family's pet was seen.

The African tortoise is missing after wandering away from her home at the base of the Superstition Mountains in Apache Junction.

"We're gonna try and track her down.  We're going to be like Dog the Bounty Hunter and we're gonna track her until we find her," said the tortoise's owner, Abbie McDougall.

McDougall went door to door, handing out fliers, trying to track down her beloved pet.  She's had Tootsie for 15 years.

"We've had her a long time.  She's part of the family and even tortoises get to be very important pets."

The tortoise escaped from a fenced area of the home's front yard.  Tootsie left behind her heated rock house and a small pond Abbie made for her.

"She just knocked the top row of rocks off and climbed over," said McDougall.

In one day, Tootsie walked about a block.  Abbie's neighbor took video of Tootsie, thinking she was a desert tortoise, not a family pet.

"They actually fed her and helped her across the next street and sent her on her way," said McDougall.

She won't give up her search.

"Mostly, I just don't want to think of her in the desert.. all head without heat.  I don't know if she can survive that...  You tend to think because of the stories you hear that tortoises are very slow, but once they get going, they move along at a really good pace."

UPDATE: On Nov. 12th -  Tootsie is back home, safe and sound.  A family apparently found her in the middle of a nearby road and picked her up.  The owner says she looks happy to be home.

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