Tortoise Found On Road

Roaming reptile with no place to go

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A local man contacted 23 ABC after he was having a difficult time finding out which organization could take a desert tortoise that he found on the side of the road.

Reptile experts said finding a tortoise on the road or in a neighborhood is pretty commonplace and offer some advice for anyone who comes across these creatures.

Richard Buehrer found a desert tortoise Wednesday night sleeping in a flower-bed on the side of a road off Panorama Drive and Fairfax Road. He then had a hard time finding somewhere to take it.

"It turns out to be quite a mystery here where to drop one of these off. I called 911 and animal control and they didn't know," said Buehrer.

The Kern County Turtle and Tortoise Club said many people who find a tortoise make the same common mistakes by letting the reptile go and or feeding it lettuce, which can be harmful to them.

"You are not supposed to release a turtle back into the wild, because they can have diseases that wild turtles don't have," said Leonard Plunkett.

Buehrer finally got in contact with the Bakersfield Reptile Club who took the tortoise in.

"I will miss having turtle boy right outside the door there, making his noise eating the lettuce, but I'm sure he will go to a good home," said Buehrer.

Plunkett said the problem with turtles roaming stems from their owners not keeping their yard secure.

Plunkett also said if you decide to adopt a tortoise you find, you need to be educated before you take on that task. Additionally, in some cases the reptile needs to be registered.

Anyone who comes across a roaming reptile should contact the Kern County Turtle and Tortoise Club or the Bakersfield Reptile Club.


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