California cops were led on a low-speed chase with a tortoise Saturday, and thanks to their speed, the police won in the end. The 150-pound tortoise decided to escape the confines of his cage in Alhambra, California, but he was no match for the local police.
The Alhambra Police Department reported the strange chase on its Facebook page, writing, “Almost had a pursuit! It took two officers to take this guy into custody.”
The massive creature, an African spurred tortoise, also called a sulcata, was spotted multiple times in Alhambra, according to comments on the Facebook page. Locals celebrated Clark’s return, and one woman claimed to have seen him “eating grass and leaves and moving at a fast clip” while on his mini adventure.
Others questioned whether the tortoise had an affinity for pizza or if it had discarded a ninja mask during its journey. However, it seems Clark was not an escaped ninja turtle as the department reported the turtle “did not respond to ‘Michaelangelo,’ Leonardo,’ ‘Raphael,’ or ‘Donatello.’ ”
It’s not clear how long the tortoise was on the lam before its low-speed chase with cops, but the Alhambra Police Department was happy to report Sunday that it found the owners. Initially confused about the tortoise’s name, the department joked that “dirks” were illegal under California’s penal code, but the department made an exception in this case because “we enjoy keeping families together.”
Later, the department corrected its Facebook page to say that the creature’s name was Clark, not Dirk.
Turtles and tortoises are legal as pets in California as long as they are more than four inches long. One Facebook user explained that many pet stores in the state sell the African spurred tortoise once it weighs more than an ounce. The tortoises grow quickly and can reach up to 200 pounds. The normal lifespan of the tortoise is 5 to 150 years, but they can live longer.
Once the tortoise was apprehended (without handcuffs, apparently), the Alhambra Police Department put out a call on Facebook for the creature’s owners, who were reunited the next day.
Following a tortoise on a low-speed chase seemed to be one of the tamer things the police department dealt with last week. The department also reported officers going after a man wearing nothing but shoes Saturday. When the officers caught up with the naked man and asked him what he was doing, he stated, “He took a pill and decided to go for a run.”
Thankfully, the cops led on a low-speed chase by a tortoise had a sense of humor about the situation.