Deputies Lure Escaped Pet Tortoise With Watermelon to Return it Home in NorCal Town

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A deputy feeds watermelon to an escaped tortoise in the Red Bluff area on Sept. 16, 2019. (Credit: Tehama County Deputy Sheriffs Association/ Facebook)

A deputy feeds watermelon to an escaped tortoise in the Red Bluff area on Sept. 16, 2019. (Credit: Tehama County Deputy Sheriffs Association/ Facebook)

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Northern California authorities have returned a pet tortoise to its owner after the wandering animal was spotted in another resident’s backyard.

The Record Searchlight reported the 41-year-old tortoise named Dino wandered away after a storm blew open the latch on its outdoor enclosure in Red Bluff.

An animal regulation officer says the tortoise was found about a half-mile (0.8 kilometers) from the home of owner Cindy Haase.

Authorities used watermelon to lure the 150-pound (68-kilogram) tortoise before lifting it into a vehicle for transport.

Tehama County sheriff’s deputies and the state forestry and fire protection department helped return Dino to Haase.

Tortoise Acres Rescue and Sanctuary owner Katie Hoffman says this is breeding season and roaming pet tortoises seeking companionship are “a daily occurrence this time of year.”

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