Advice?! LOST Leopard Tortoise - Tampa, Florida

Padme

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10 Year Member!
Joined
Jun 6, 2009
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6
Hello! My 13-year-old leopard, Padme, escaped from her enclosure on Monday, 7/27. We live in condo/townhomes that all look identical. I'd really like to hear about others have lost and found their torts beyond a few nights gone. For background, our property backs up to a very large, very thick jungle. I got Padme as a hatchling and she's a super domesticated, people-loving, friendly girl. She always heads toward the forest/swamp when I let her wander, so I dove in and started to look -- but her shell is so hard to see against all the dead fronds and brush. There are areas where the jungle is very thick and areas where it's nice -- but none of it has much sun. I've looked and looked and looked and looked -- turned over every single frond, checked the base of every tree, ripped apart piles of bramble, waded through EVERY inch of fern for yards back and like a mile across.

My neighbors keep telling me they've seen her 2-5 days ago walking up to their doors, etc. I've searched high and low surrounding the neighborhood, every bush, on my hands and knees. I'm killing myself looking for her. I just can't stress it enough. I've hung up signs, talked to neighbors, posted all over social media in my area, called vets, called my HOA, etc. I'm getting really discouraged.

I feel like since people have seen her, and she's flirting with the woods' edge and their homes, she's around and not stolen. I cannot stress enough how difficult the woods are to traverse -- bogs, mangrove swamps, giant rotting trees, etc., all over. I'm sure there are raccoons, but no other major predators. What do you think?????? Do you think she'd go super super deep, like miles? I feel like not, because she seems to be coming up to doors to look for attention and food....but where is she???? When do I stop looking so hard and just wait??? I thought you guys might have expertise in this area. It's scary to know I've looked so hard and cannot find her. Thank you! BTW, she's about 20lb now and pretty large.
 

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Lokkje

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Aug 19, 2019
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458
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Phoenix
I am so sorry she is missing. Please keep us posted. I would keep looking and keep doing what you’re doing and I agree you should put out some of her favorite foods and see if you can entice her back to your place. I would be devastated if my leopard wandered away from me.
 

Toddrickfl1

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Jan 7, 2018
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Ga
Put out something really stinky to lure the tortoise in. Their sense of smell is incredible. Something like wet dog food, or tuna fish. Or as gross as it may sound, collect your neighbors dog poop and make a pile in your yard. Then keep watch. Your best chance of catching it coming for a bite would be early morning right after the sun comes up. Good luck and keep us posted.
 

Maro2Bear

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May 29, 2014
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Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
Good look, I’m sure that you are devastated. Just keep looking early in the morning, toward sunset too. It might be honkered down during the hottest & sunniest part of the day. Don’t give up. Keep looking. Good luck.
 

newCH

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Nov 15, 2014
Messages
468
Location (City and/or State)
So.FL
I wish you luck in your searching. Since it is close to your home, possibly you could set up a Ring camera working off
WiFi mounted to a tree at the edge of the forest. I like the idea of letting the local children know.
Maybe a trail cam even.
Let us know how the search is going....
Best of luck :rolleyes: :tort:
 
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