News World Elderly tortoise has time ‘out on the town’ after running away from home

Elderly tortoise has time ‘out on the town’ after running away from home

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An enormous tortoise named Sparkplug has launched a daring escape across two US counties and at least one soybean field.

The 60-year-old African spurred tortoise broke out of its fenced pen in Etowah County in Alabama last week.

Sparkplug the tortoise. Photo: The Harris family

It slowly shuffled its way towards a road, where it was picked up by a man at the side of the road and was taken to a faraway property.

From there, Sparkplug was released onto 80.9 hectares of land.

Except, Ty Harris, the tortoise’s owner made a plea across social media for locals to help find his beloved reptile and return it to him.

Mr Harris found out what had happened after using social media, but there was still the matter of finding the tortoise on the land where he’d been released.

A big, roaming tortoise leaves tracks, and area farmers were able to see where Sparkplug had ploughed through soybean fields.

The man who initially released Sparkplug into the wild found the tortoise and returned it to Mr Harris on Saturday.

“He just had a couple of days out on the town,” Mr Harris said.

Mr Harris used to operate a wildlife sanctuary in the area and got Sparkplug from a family in New Jersey that couldn’t keep the animal.