Lost redfoot tortoise in backyard, help!

Laustin9

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Jun 26, 2021
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Topeka, KS
I’ve had my adult male RF for over a year now and he has been missing since yesterday. I live in Kansas and we had a really bad storm that came in around 4pm he was missing an hour before the storm hit. I remember seeing him out back before I went to Walmart but when I came back and saw it start to rain he was no where in the backyard. If started raining pretty heavy too and I had no luck finding him. We have tons of shade and the backyard is fenced in. I looked all around my fence and I don’t see how he could’ve gotten out I didn’t see any markings or holes.. also his shell makes it impossible for him to burrow under at least I think. We have two really big bushes and a large patio he usually hangs out at but I cannot find him I checked all over. The bushes are kind of hard to get too so I’m wondering if he just hud real good in the mud . I don’t know but I’m lost on what to do. I informed my neighbors and checked in one of their backyards. I’m starting to think the neighbors across from my backyard might have something to do with this but I don’t know. Is there any places I could check? There’s no accesses for him under the house or crawl spaces. Do redfoots burrow when they sense storms?
 

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KarenSoCal

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I'm not familiar with RF in particular, but I suspect he found himself a nice place to snuggle under a bush. Is there anything else he could be under? Anything laying around in the yard?

Does he have a hide or a place he likes to sleep outside? Is there a heat source of any kind he might seek out?

When daylight comes, go out and lay on your stomach and look for disturbed dirt or leaf litter. Feel with your hands. Look around from the ground level your tort is at. Many tortoises are amazingly good climbers, so don't forget to look up into the bushes, or on anything he could have climbed, including the fence.

Put a bowl of food out.

At a gate is where it's usually easier to escape a fence...look around and outside the gate (if there is one).

I hope he turns up soon. Please keep us updated.
 

Unkapunka

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I'm not sure. I would suggest you get down and look. You could put out some fliers in you neighbors but I bet he's still somewhere in your yard. Also he might have debris on top of him. Is there a special place he eats at?
 

Krista S

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He’s an adult redfoot 12 inches surely he would’ve been easy to spot by now 😩
Have you tried putting out a really smelly food…like cat food or something pungent that could get his attention and draw him out if he’s near by? Other members have had success locating their tortoise by rounding up the neighbourhood kids and offer a small reward for whoever finds him. I have also seen others in the US have success with using the Nextdoor app for finding their own lost tort or finding owners of a tortoise they themselves have found. Please don’t give up hope. Keep us posted.
 

Armadillogroomer

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He could still be burrowed. I was out in that storm on Saturday night and it was pretty chilly. The ground is saturated, but red foots have been known to burrow down with just their nostrils sticking up out of the water. If he ate before he disappeared, that could be why you didn't see him today. The stinky food is a great idea. In the evening, you could try to find the top of his shell with a flashlight.
 

Laustin9

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Topeka, KS
He probably just hid out somewhere in your yard. They are very good at blending in. I live in Kansas also have have a baby redfoot. I know the storms were bad. Don't give up hope.
How is the weather now? He may really be hunkered down under the mud and hard to see.
It’s been four days since the incident and still no sign the weather hasn’t been to bad just humid and today was a little cloudy. My fenced in part of the yard isn’t that big I even trimmed the bushes and all. Looked for holes and dug under concrete there is no sign of him. I think it’s possible he slid out of his enclosure and on the side of the house where we have a bunch of overgrown trees and bushes. Checked there today but it’s so bad I don’t know where he could be in that mess 😩 putting up flyers tomorrow.
 

Laustin9

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Jun 26, 2021
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20
Location (City and/or State)
Topeka, KS
Have you tried putting out a really smelly food…like cat food or something pungent that could get his attention and draw him out if he’s near by? Other members have had success locating their tortoise by rounding up the neighbourhood kids and offer a small reward for whoever finds him. I have also seen others in the US have success with using the Nextdoor app for finding their own lost tort or finding owners of a tortoise they themselves have found. Please don’t give up hope. Keep us posted.
Thank you I’ll look into that app and I put some oranges and bananas out for him
 

Canadian Mojo

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I can tell you from experience that you can know an adult RF is hiding in his Hosta patch and you'll still need to look from three different angles and move leaves aside to find him.

They blend in better than you would believe possible when they just hunker down and decide to play rock. I'd keep checking the yard with a fine tooth comb and do a sweep of the neighbors yards as well.
 

Tom

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He’s an adult redfoot 12 inches surely he would’ve been easy to spot by now 😩
You have no idea how wrong that statement is. I've "lost" 90 pound sulcatas on an open desert ranch with no bushes. They have survived all these millions of years because of their ability to hide.
 

MenagerieGrl

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I was gonna say something similar to Tom, above. I let my leopard wander the back yard on nice days, keeping tab's on him every 5 min or so. Unlike the comic's, they CAN skedaddle given the need/chance. And How do they blend in, My ex room mate had a Sulcata, that knew the way out of the house to the backyard, he was 12" plus, and Dang if that guy could hide right under your nose. So, Keep looking, if your confidant your fence line has not been penetrated, then your RF is still there, just very stealthy...
 

maggie3fan

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My little adult Redfoot, Houdini The Jerk, has escape abilities that rival the best Russians or stubborn Sulcata. I have "lost" him several times. But each time he was found hidden in his pen, once he made it out of his pen into the Sulcata's yard...ugly.
Don't give up! In the past hot days I lost 3 box turtles, each found, a Sulcata ( her) and Houdini The Jerk always causing trouble...after about half an hour of hunting for him, he made a noise and this is what I saw...
100_8050.JPG
this is the front side after I pulled it away...he was wedged in and kept trying to go forward but couldn't move...
100_8051.JPG
 

Cathie G

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Found him he was in neighbors yard
Sorry I didn't mean to laugh but I have a Russian. I'm so glad you found him. But it also seems like he really didn't want to go far and was just looking for dryer ground.🙂
 
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