Tortoise or turtle the size of a ‘dinner platter’ reportedly on the loose in Steamboat Springs
May 12, 2017
Steamboat Springs — Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new information about the possible owners of the tortoise.
A tortoise, or very large turtle, the size of a large dinner platter has reportedly been seen (slowly) cruising the streets and raising eyebrows near the intersection of Fish Creek Falls Road and Steamboat Boulevard.
“He’s a big guy,” Steamboat Boulevard resident Shannon Ross said Friday.
Anyone who spots it is encouraged to call animal control officers at 970-879-1090.
Steamboat Springs Animal Control officer Jennifer Good said in a voicemail Friday evening she thinks she has found the owners of the tortoise that neighbors have been seeing wandering the neighborhood in recent weeks.
She said the owners on Steamboat Boulevard thought the tortoise was safe inside, but there was a search for it underway Friday night.
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Ross said she spotted the reptile as recently as Thursday night, and it has been seen wandering the area for about a month.
She reached out to the newspaper Thursday night hoping that anyone who might be missing the animal comes forward.
As of Friday afternoon, the reptile was still on the loose.
Steamboat Springs is not native habitat for tortoises or turtles, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Mike Porras.
“Most likely, it is an escaped pet,” Porras said.
He said there was a recent case of a tortoise escaping from its owners in Grand Junction and generating a lot of phone calls before it was captured.
Ross said neighbors have been checking with each other to see if someone lost a pet, but nobody had reported the animal missing as of Friday.
She added that after seeing and photographing the reptile, she’s convinced it’s a tortoise, and not just a large turtle, after doing some research online.
The tortoise was spotted crossing the road and in a driveway.
Ross said she and other neighbors have been hesitant to approach the reptile.
She is surprised the animal has weathered cold nights out in the wild.
Odd calls involving reptiles and other exotic animals aren’t unprecedented, even in Ski Town USA.
Animal control officer Good said Friday she once helped a homeowner find a snake that was lost in a house.
Back in 2014, City Councilman Scott Ford and his wife helped reunite Kahli, an African Grey parrot, with the Greenspan family.
The parrot landed on the sun tea the Fords were making on their back deck, and they brought the bird inside until an officer could show up and reunite her with the family.