Cruz the pet tortoise is missing from a home in the Tappen area near Salmon Arm. Cruz’s owner is seeking information that will aid in the search. (Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer) Cruz the pet tortoise is missing from a home in the Tappen area near Salmon Arm. Cruz’s owner is seeking information that will aid in the search. (Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer)

Owner seeks return of missing Shuswap tortoise

Cruz the tortoise weighs more than 60 lbs and may have sought shelter in a barn or shed

A Shuswap man’s unusual but beloved pet is missing and he is asking for help in locating it.

There is little chance of mistaken identity for searchers as the pet in question is a 60-pound tortoise.

Joel Bostock’s tortoise, named Cruz, was last seen around noon on Saturday, May 2. The tortoise went missing from Bostock’s parents’ home located in Tappen, east of the Trans-Canada Highway. Since then, Bostock and friends have been searching for Cruz, putting up signs and posters requesting information.

As of Wednesday, May 6, Cruz remained missing.

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Bostock has owned the tortoise for close to 14 years. When he got Cruz, it was already about 12 years old and the size of a basketball.

He described the tortoise as “a little tank,” and it is this bulk that allowed Cruz to escape, forcing his way out of a temporary outdoor pen.

Although tortoises are not famed for their speed, Bostock said they become very active in warmer temperatures and can travel long distances. He said the tortoise is a hardy animal native to the Sahara Desert. Although they are cold-blooded, tortoises are able to survive major temperature swings by burrowing or seeking shelter.

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Bostock said it is possible that Cruz has found shelter in or under someone’s barn or shed, but will likely show himself to warm up in the sun. In captivity, Bostock feeds Cruz hay, but he said the tortoise will also seek out and eat green grass or other vegetation. If a vegetable garden is destroyed, that could be a sign the missing tortoise is nearby.

Bostock said he is hoping for Cruz’s quick return. He hoped to be able to pass him on to his children one day as the lifespan of a tortoise ranges up to 100 years.

Bostock said even if the tortoise avoids other hazards, colder temperatures will almost certainly do him in if he is not found.

If anyone sees Cruz the tortoise, they are asked to call Bostock at 250-803-3350.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

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