Tip leads owner to missing tortoise

Peter Lowry’s African tortoise is now back in his pen safe and sound. Peter Lowry’s African tortoise is now back in his pen safe and sound. (Peter Lowry via The Associated Press)
Associated Press / April 24, 2010

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ALBANY, Vt. — A 116-pound African tortoise is back home after having been stolen from its enclosure on a Vermont farm. The 20-year-old Geochelone sulcata male, which vanished April 11 from a barn in Albany, was located after a telephone call late Thursday from a woman who told owner Peter Lowry she knew where the tortoise was.

Lowry said the woman led him to a mobile home in Craftsbury where the tortoise was being kept by a man who had been asked by a teenage boy to watch it. The man did not know it was stolen.

The tortoise was unharmed. Lowry, 66, a farmer who also keeps macaws, cockatoos, and snakes, said he and the police now know who took the animal.

No one has been charged, though. Vermont State Police Lieutenant Bruce Melendy said the investigation is continuing.

“It’s a very odd tale with a very happy ending,’’ Lowry said. “I’m relieved.’’ He plans to install surveillance cameras in the barn where the tortoise resides.

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