Animal Services needed back-up to rescue a large tortoise on the loose in Campo Thursday, which the department’s director called the biggest he’s seen in 30 years.
At around 2:30 p.m. Thursday, the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services received a call from a Campo resident who spotted a tortoise on their property.
An Animal Services officer arrived on scene to discover the tortoise was too large to lift himself, so he called Cal Fire.
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Cal Fire crews arrived quickly to help out, and it took three men to pick up the tortoise, according to Daniel DeSousa, the director of the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services.
“This guy is massive. He’s probably the biggest I’ve seen in 30 years,” DeSousa told NBC 7.
It took about 15 minutes to get the tortoise into the crew’s vehicle.
The tortoise was taken to a shelter in Bonita, which DeSousa said wasn’t all that uncommon. Animal Services has rescued two other tortoises in the past six weeks.
DeSousa said the department’s goal is to reunite the tortoise with its owner, but if it can’t, it will house the reptile – as long as it stays peaceful – until its adopted.
At the Bonita shelter, the tortoise was checked for a microchip. DeSousa said it didn’t have one but that a possible owner called Thursday night trying to claim him. If the caller can prove ownership, the tortoise – named Tank – can return home.