A slow-moving tortoise, affectionately nicknamed “Houdini,” has staged yet another daring escape from a veterinary clinic, marking the third time he has outwitted captivity.
The shelled reptile, whose real name is Tank, typically resides in an outdoor pen at the clinic and is owned by one of the veterinarians. Just as the staff were preparing to bring him indoors for his hibernation period, he made his getaway.
This escapade marked Tank’s third successful breakout, leaving the vet staff in awe of his cunning. It’s believed that Tank somehow sensed the impending plans for his hibernation and opted for an adventurous journey instead of a long winter’s nap.
Megan McFarland, a veterinarian technician at the Mahoning Valley Animal Hospital in Leighton, Pennsylvania, appealed to residents to be on the lookout for the elusive tortoise. She explained, “I think he caught wind that Dr. Mike was going to bring him in for the season. And he just decided he was going to high-tail it and go on an adventure.”
The vet team searched the clinic’s yard and noticed a hole in the fence that Tank had plowed through. He disappeared during the night of September 21 or early the following morning.
McFarland humorously refers to Tank as “Houdini” because this is the third time he’s managed to break free. On the previous two occasions, he was found relatively close by, with the longest disappearance lasting about two weeks.
A spokesperson for the animal hospital provided some details about Tank, mentioning that he weighs around 50 pounds and is a vegetarian. They also urged residents living within three miles of the clinic to be on the lookout, as Tank might wander into their gardens, where he could potentially dine on their produce.
Finding Tank is of utmost importance because as the nights grow colder, he needs to be returned to his pen with heat lamps. Without these amenities, he faces a life-threatening situation.
Locals and well-wishers have been offering advice and support in the search for Tank, including suggestions to tie a balloon to him or use an AirTag to track his movements. As of September 26, Tank remains missing, and the search continues.