Local Tortoise Leaves Home After 18 Years, Still on the Run, er Walk

Categories: Animals, WTF?

Peninsula Humane Society
Just like any other 18-year-old, Pokey probably wanted to see San Francisco

A South Bay woman is desperate to find her 18-year-old Tortoise named Pokey, who left home nearly two weeks ago without a word.

On July 9, Pokey quietly slipped out the gate of the back yard of his Foster City home where he has been living with owner Audrey Throgmorton. A neighbor spotted Throgmorton's tortoise, grabbed it, and dropped it off in front of the Peninsula Humane Society hours before the shelter was open for business.

Pokey wasn't going to stick around and get into trouble, so instead he wandered off through the parking lot sometime on July 10 or 11. But the PHS didn't get involved in the family matter until July 19 when Throgmorton called the shelter and told them everything -- about the runaway, the well-intentioned neighbor, and Pokey's after-hours drop-off at the PHS.

Both Throgmorton, who has had Pokey since he was a hatchling (that's 18 years of parenting), and volunteers from the PHS have been combing the area for days with no luck.

No word on how far the slow-moving animal could walk in two weeks, but Throgmorton is hopeful Pokey's leisurely nature has bought her some time.

Pokey is described as a brown African Spurred Tortoise, approximately two feet in diameter and weighing 25 to 30 pounds. He was originally missing near Port Royal Ave. and Edgewater Boulevard in Foster City. He reportedly has no Clipper Card on him.

Anyone with information should contact Throgmorton at audfang@yahoo.com or 650/619-0517. She is offering a $100 reward for the safe return of her BFF. Pokey is very gentle and does not bite. He makes a hissing sound when frightened and will go into his shell, but is used to people and being handled.

My Voice Nation Help

Dear Erin,

I am Pokey's owner. Now that Pokey is home, safe and sound, I have to tell you that I enjoyed your write up of Pokey's story. He had a lot of media coverage over the week and yours was my favorite (although I am thankful to all of them since they helped in getting Pokey getting home!). I am very curious what Pokey did in the last 2 weeks and what kind of adventures he had. Too bad he can't talk and hopefully he didn't knock up some other girl tortoise!

In any case, just like any other kid, now I need to put some kind of GPS device on him.  

Many thanks,

Audrey and Pokey

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