Runaway tortoise reunited with owner through help from community

Marmalade is a sulcata tortoise, one of the largest species in the world. (KRIS, ELIZABETH BURKES, CNN)
Published: Sep. 8, 2023 at 3:13 AM CDT
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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (KRIS) - A tortoise has been reunited with her owner after pulling an escape act from their home in Corpus Christi, Texas.

“I went out about 9ish to go feed her and I see her enclosure is tipped up, and I’m like, ‘Oh, no,’” Elizabeth Burkes, Marmalade the tortoise’s owner, described.

Burkes has had Marmalade as a pet for a couple of weeks. She first wandered her way into the family’s house and soon wandered into their hearts.

Once she realized Marmalade was nowhere to be found on Thursday morning, she turned to social media to find her tortoise on the run.

“I’m panicking, and I saw that she was by the highway,” Burkes said. “So I comment on the lady’s post and everything, and she gets me in contact with the guy who had her. And they had me identify her, and that was how I got her back.”

Marmalade is a sulcata tortoise, the third-largest species in the world, and she’s only about 5 years old.

The specific tortoises are known to be escape artists, a skill Marmalade seems to have mastered.

“We’re likely going to bury some chicken wire or some kind of wiring underneath so she won’t dig under the fence this time,” Burkes added.

Burkes has an idea where Marmalade would have visited if she had the chance.

“Somewhere where it’s very grassy, like tall grass and just like an open field, probably a golf course or like a duck pond,” Burkes said.