50-pound pet tortoise found safe

An undated courtesy photo of Frank, a 50-pound pet tortoise who went missing.

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A tortoise that went missing from a Grand Rapids-area home over the weekend has been located and safely returned to its owner.

The 50-pound reptile disappeared after breaking through a fence at owner Brad Clark’s home near 4 Mile Road and Coit Avenue in Plainfield Township. The tortoise is named Frank even though she is female.

“I didn’t realize it was a female,” Clark, who got Frank 12 years ago, explained.

Monday, Clark told 24 Hour News 8 he searched the area around his home, posted photos and disseminated the story online in an effort to find Frank. He said he considered the tortoise a family member and that she is important to his children.

“My kids associate that with me. They know that Frank’s here,” Clark said. “I’ve had Frank forever… it’s just weird to come in my backyard and not have it out there.”

Tuesday, Clark told 24 Hour News 8 over the phone that a woman living near Knapp Street NE and Grand River Drive in Ada Township spotted Frank nibbling on the flowers in her yard. A neighborhood boy recognized Frank from a TV report. Soon, Frank was returned home safely.

According to Google Maps, Knapp Street and Grand River Drive is more than 5.5 miles from where Frank went missing. So how did she get so far?

Clark said he had previously received a phone call from another woman near his home who witnessed some teenaged girls pick Frank up and drive away with her in a car. The woman knew one of them to be a Northview High School student. Clark took to social media and found a teen who said she had picked up the missing tortoise and took it home for her father, who is a veterinarian, to check out. The vet suggested the girls release the turtle in a nearby wooded area, which they did.

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