YAY! Welcome home Wish! (p.s. if you read the article to follow I would probably react the exact same way as Wishes mom … I may have tried to make out with the guy when I met him hee)

HILLSBORO • A 56-pound tortoise on the lam since Monday is home.

Wish wandered away from Sherry Smith’s Hillsboro yard that afternoon.

She’d only been missing about an hour before Smith realized she was gone, Smith said, but a search turned up nothing.

More searches in the following days for the 8-year-old Sulcata tortoise, also known as the African Spurred tortoise, were also unsuccessful.

Smith had reported her missing to Hillsboro police, Animal Control and to the Missouri Department of Conservation, she said.

She worried because Wish is so friendly and doesn’t know how to protect herself from predators.

On Saturday, she got a call from a man saying he had found Wish.

“He said, ‘I think I have your turtle.’ I said, ‘I think I’m in love with you,’” Smith said.

He brought her home that same day. Smith said the man may have been a Missouri Department of Transportation employee, but she wasn’t certain.

Wish had been found Thursday as she slowly crossed Highway 21 just north of Hillsboro and less than a mile from Smith’s house.

“I was almost in tears when he brought her here,” Smith said.

Wish has been in Smith’s family since “she was a big as a silver dollar,” Smith said. Her granddaughter got the tortoise as a birthday gift. Smith keeps the tortoise because she has the room needed for such a large animal.

At Smith’s house, Wish spends her time in single-car garage, the yard and in the basement.

It was the second time Wish had escaped. Smith’s husband lives in Hollister, Mo., where he works, and Wish made her way out of his yard in October. Wish ended up at a zoo in Springfield, Smith said.

A similar tale of a lost tortoise a few years ago also had a happy ending.

In July of 2008, an O’Fallon family lost Squirtle, their 7-year-old tortoise.

The 30-pound animal was spotted poking around a resident’s backyard along Fawn Oaks Drive in the Royal Oaks subdivision of Highway P.

The family claimed Squirtle three days later.

Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/missing—pound-tortoise-returned-to-her-hillsboro-home/article_79c388ea-8712-11e1-8702-001a4bcf6878.html#ixzz1sAqNLam6

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