An 80-pound sulcata tortoise was found nearly five miles away from his home near Mabank, nine days after going missing on Sept. 8. Owner Miranda Jameson says the tortoise, named Cooper, escaped from an unlatched gate, prompting her to seek assistance from others in Kaufman County in finding him.
“We had him in the yard one day with the dogs while we were doing some work on his enclosure,” Jameson said. “The gate wasn't latched all the way, and he just pushed it right open and set out on his way!”
Jameson turned to facebook, hoping others had spotted the large tortoise somewhere nearby.
"I was so shocked how many times it was shared and how widespread!”
Jameson’s post received thousands of shares and comments, alerting people to keep an eye out for her missing tortoise. Nine days later, Cooper was found crossing a pasture 4.7 miles away. “I’d always heard they stay within a three-mile radius from home, but clearly that was debunked!” Jameson said. “He was crossing through someone's pasture, and her cows were very intrigued by him and surrounded him. I suppose the cow’s odd behavior is what alerted the homeowner, and she walked back and found him!
Jameson says Cooper encountered several other people along his journey, before being found. “I had a couple other people send me pictures of him/with him from when he had passed through their homes as well during the week. He really got around!”
Cooper is now safe at home. Jameson says he is 16 years old, and loves eating and head scratches. He is expected to outlive his owner, at which point Jameson plans to pass him down to her son or future grandkids.