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Neighbors find missing tortoise after days-long search

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CENTRAL - You know the old wives' tale, 'The Tortoise and the Hare,' where it's said "slow and steady wins the race?" The owners of a tortoise in Central would beg to differ.

Colleen Soileau owns 64 chickens, seven tortoises, a koi fish pond, ducks, and dogs on more than ten acres of land. It can be a lot to keep up with, and recently she learned that the hard way.  

Soileau's husband and son took their six-year-old tortoise, Boot, out for a stroll around the farm March 22. 

"They decided to hose him off and of course they got distracted and went inside and forgot that they left Boot outside of the enclosure. We ran back out as soon as he realized," Soileau said. 

At that point, it was too late. Boot was nowhere to be found. 

"They're faster than you think," she said.

Soileau and her family searched high and low for two days for their elusive Sulcata tortoise. Becoming more desperate with each passing day, they tried everything from passing out flyers to neighbors, to hiring a drone pilot to aid in the search. 

"We found all kinds of wildlife but didn't find Boot," Soileau said.

It wasn't until Easter Sunday when Soileau's neighbor made a shell-shocking discovery. Boot was on her front porch drinking from a dog's water bowl. 

"Nine days missing, about a half a mile away, we are very fortunate that we got our tortoise back."

Now Boot is back home on the farm with his siblings, Scoot and Boogie, safe and sound where he belongs. 


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