Biscuit the 100-Year-Old Tortoise Reunited with US Owner after Rescue from Louisiana Canal

A century-old African tortoise has been reunited with his owner after escaping his home in Louisiana, getting trapped in a drainage canal and being rescued, according to officials.

The creature’s saga in late August illustrates the resilience of a kind of animal that lives longer than most humans do.

Biscuit apparently escaped from the home of his owner, Lamoine Howard, in the community of Gonzales – between Baton Rouge and New Orleans – after wind and rain blew the backyard gate open, breaking the latch. Howard wrote on Facebook that he had planned to fix the gate, but Biscuit got out before the repair was done.

100-year-old tortoise is reunited with his family after getting lost in  canal

Local government authorities later wrote on Facebook that a local animal control team was called out after deputies spotted Biscuit “in distress” in Gonzales’s New River canal on 30 August. Animal control officers Curt Trepagnier and Isreal Millet managed to humanely collect the tortoise, load him into a truck and drive him to the local Cara’s House animal shelter, which gave the creature’s owner three days to reclaim him.

If no one came for the tortoise, it would be put up for adoption, officials’ Facebook post said.

Cara’s House, hours later, wrote on its own Facebook page: “We are happy to report that Biscuit has been reunited with his family! This boy is 100 years old.”

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The shelter published a video showing Biscuit leading Howard toward his pickup truck, walking at an appropriately glacial speed. In the clip, it takes Biscuit about 30 seconds to get from the shelter’s front door to his owner’s pickup, which was parked only about 10 yards away.

“Come on, Biscuit,” Howard says on the video as they walk out together. Howard says to those watching and to Biscuit: “He knows the truck. Go ahead.”

Shortly before bending over to pick up his large pet and put him in the truck’s bed, Howard jokes: “I wish he could jump in.”

100-year-old tortoise named Biscuit reunited with family

Howard went on the shelter’s page, explained how his centenarian tortoise got out, and thanked the facility for helping to “return … Biscuit home”.

“I told my wife … that I would fix it … and it would be fine til then,” Howard said of the broken gate. “Biscuit had other plans.”

Biscuit’s kind, African spurred tortoises, are the largest mainland tortoise, according to information from the famous San Diego Zoo. Many African tortoises can grow to be about 2 ½ feet long while weighing 100lb – if not 200lb.

They require a long-term commitment to be properly cared for as pets because many African tortoises can reach an age between 80 and 100 years old, especially ones living in a domestic setting rather than in the wild.

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