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Found tortoise claimed by many in Denver area

6:29 PM, Sep 18, 2012   |    comments
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Since 9NEWS first aired a picture of a wayward sulcata tortoise at the Denver Dumb Friends League on Monday night, five people have called the DDFL wondering if the reptile might be theirs.

"Who'd have thought that here are really that many people missing tortoises." DDFL's Public Relations Manager Chris Gallegos said with a smile.

Gallegos said as of Tuesday afternoon, the list of five possible owners was whittled down to two. He hopes to return the big gal (or guy) to its rightful owner soon.

His staff believes the tortoise is a female, but one of the persons on the short list told DDFL she was missing a male. Apparently it's not so obvious with a tortoise.

"You can't just immediately tell if it's a male or a female," Gallegos explained.

In the meantime, DDLF animal care technician Tara Rihel is helping take care of the 40 pounder.

"Every day you come in here, it's like opening up a Christmas present," Rihel said. "It's always something new."

A few weeks ago someone brought in a domesticated turkey.

"[The tortoise] has a great temperament. She's only hissed at us twice," Rihel said.
She said a girl found the tortoise wandering around her front yard near Maxwell Place and Picadilly Road a week ago.

The tortoise is native to the Saharan region of Africa, but many have clearly become domesticated half a world away.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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