Missing Tortoise Found over 200 Days Later

Missing Tortoise Found over 200 Days Later

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

A tortoise seems to have copied the chicken who crossed the road, but why did the reptile in Ohio cross?

A turtle in Avon Lake escaped his home and was away for over half a year prior to being found and returned to his owners. The turtle’s name is Tiny Tim and it looked like he had some errands to run. He had things to see and places to go as a rebellious reptile.

Vanessa Baker met Tiny Tim on her fourth birthday celebration, and together, they’ve celebrated every single birthday since then.

“Well, now he’s the size of my 15-year-old hands,” she said.

It wasn’t long before Tiny Tim became a family member.

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“Most people that know me know I have a tortoise,” Katie Baker, Vanessa’s mother, said.

However, one day last fall, Tiny Tim made his secret move. There was a diminutive opening in his outdoor nook that he escaped through.

“With a lost dog, you know, there is kind of a protocol with that,” Katie Baker said. “With a lost tortoise, it’s all about who lives near us.”

The family posted online to social media sites such as Facebook showing his mugshot on flyers.

“This was out all over the neighborhood,” Katie Baker said.

Weeks flew by, quickly followed by months. Winter then came and left, and Tiny Tim was three shells to the breeze.

“Didn’t hear anybody seeing him or anything,” Katie Baker said. “It was kind of … we lost hope for sure.”

The colder time of the year’s snow in the end gave way to spring, and exactly 233 days after his stealthy escape, the four legged ninja passed by the home of the self-proclaimed enthusiast Clayton Johnson.

“He was moving pretty fast for a tortoise,” Clayton said.

Clayton isn’t just your normal 12 year old. The future herpetologist knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Tiny Tim had belonged to someone out there.

Clayton at that point began posting pictures of the tortoise, and the Bakers were shell-shocked. They said they began receiving calls right away. In seven months, Tiny Tim had made it about a mile, played Frogger in rush hour traffic, and was searching for love in all the wrong places.

“It was just really heartwarming,” Clayton said. “I’ve never really had an experience like this, so it was really nice to get him back to where he belongs.”

The Bakers are beyond appreciative of Clayton’s sharp eye. Now, they realize they can’t let Tiny Tim too far out of their sight.

Russian tortoises live to be as old as 50 years of age, and that implies Tiny Tim will have a lot of time to try again. They also have a very social personality which can be comparable to your typical puppy companion. 

Although they are known by Russian tortoises, they can be found in other countries aside from Russia. They span throughout a large part of Asia and the Middle East. They also do not grow big and large like other tortoise species, but instead grow to be only six to eight inches in length.