Family who lost pet tortoise over a year ago find it six miles away


Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Nov 18, 2011
Location (City and/or State)
Suburban-life in Salem, Oregon

A family were left stunned after their pet tortoise which had vanished 18 months earlier was found six miles from their house.
Owner Chris Barnes has spoken of has amazement after 16-year-old Stavi turned up on the other side of Bristol after escaping in May 2016.
Amazingly, the tortoise would have had to cross the M32 motorway and six parks if she had taken the most direct route from Brentry to St George.
Mr Barnes said: ‘It’s just incredible – we’re all amazed.There isn’t a nick on her shell or anything.
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‘We couldn’t believe it when we had the phonecall from the vet.
‘We just thought, “What?”. She’d been gone for so long. It’s amazing.
‘My mum has had her since I was at school – about 15 years now. She’s just like part of the furniture.’
Stavi escaped when Mr Barnes, 30, let her out into his garden.
He said he had only briefly taken his eyes off her and when he turned back to check on her she was gone.
The dad-of-one, who lives with his parents and son Max, five, in Brentry, said: ‘She has a huge run in the garden which we usually keep her in during the summer months.
‘We also put a little bit of red electrical tape on her shell when we let her out, just so we can see where she is.’
Her disappearance was a huge loss for the whole family, who had found Stavi in Mr Barnes’ grandmother’s garden when he was just a teen.
The family put up posters everywhere and even set up a night vision camera underneath the garden shed.
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The whole family was thrilled when they received a call from a vet in Kingswood vet last Wednesday, saying Stavi had been handed in.
Mr Barnes, who works in the manufacturing department at NHS Blood and Transplant, added: ‘My son is amazed – I didn’t tell him until we were totally sure, but he had a little scream and a dance when we brought her home.’
He said he knew little of her adventures but said he ‘wouldn’t be surprised’ if Stavi had been staying with the family who handed her in.
And added: ‘She had a nice long bath after we bought her home, to get all the crud from her journey off her, and we’ve got her bathing under a nice warm UV light now.’

All I can add to this is it’s good to see that they offer some proper care for the little guy and it’s not being a sulcata or leopard tortoise likely helped save its life during the winter weather.
A tip of the hat from this here Cowboy to these folks indeed.