Very happy ending for Houdini, the aptly named Sulcata that disappeared from his owners yard in Yarmouth, MA last wednesday! He was found in an open space by a local officer and a crowd of intrigued onlookers. He’s been reunited with his humans and is now happily noming on the yard and posing for pictures and videos like a handsome tortoise should. 


SOUTH YARMOUTH — Houdini, the disappearing tortoise, has returned from the great beyond.

In this case, the great beyond was the world outside his yard on a street off South Shore Drive. That’s where Houdini usually hangs out, hoping for a ripe tomato or a slice of watermelon.

But Wednesday, the 25-pound reptile went missing. Whether he escaped, was tortoise-napped or was merely playing a slow-paced game of hide and seek is unclear.

On Sunday, after four days of no tortoise, the dejected Ryan headed over to the Yarmouth Police Department off Higgins Crowell Road to drop off a poster.

That’s when things turned strange and wonderful. Ryan noticed a group of people and a bit of a hubbub upon arriving at the station.

“There were three people around in the semicircle,” recalled Ryan. “There was a police officer standing there. Right smack in the middle was Houdini.”

Ryan was floored. “It was just the most bizarre thing,” she said. “I was meant to be there, when they were there, when the tortoise was there.”

Turns out Houdini had just been found on Knob Hill Road, about 4 miles from his yard.

Yarmouth natural resources officer Timothy Parsons doesn’t think it likely that Houdini could have traveled that far in four days.

Instead, Parsons thinks it possible that Houdini may have escaped from his yard and been found wandering by a good Samaritan who dropped off the tortoise in an open-space area.

Only Houdini knows what really happened, and he’s not talking. Magicians and tortoises never reveal their secrets.

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