The search is on for Buddy, an African Spur Thigh Tortoise that disappeared 

earlier this week.


The search is on for Buddy, an African Spur Thigh Tortoise that disappeared 
earlier this week.

Marilyn Williams of 511 W. Cave Springs, El Dorado is Buddy’s owner and said that Buddy escaped on Saturday of last week.

Buddy is an African Spurred Tortoise, also called the African Spur Thigh Tortoise, most commonly called Sulcata tortoise.

Weighing approximately 20 to 25 pounds, Buddy is about 13 inches in width.

He is a species of tortoise that originates from the southern edge of the Sahara desert in northern Africa.

Marilyn said that Buddy is a land tortoise, so he doesn’t know how to swim and storms frighten him.

The Spur Thigh tortoise’s diet provides them with most of their water requirements, but they do drink.

Buddy’s favorite food is broccoli and chopped apples.

This type of tortoise coats their skin with mud when available to cool off.

When mud wallows are not available, they retreat to cooler burrows.

They do not hibernate, unlike many other types of tortoises, due to their natural environment being so close to the equator, and therefore temperate throughout the year, but they are known to hibernate in climates colder than their natural habitat.

Due to their availability in the pet trade and their pleasant demeanor, African Spur Thigh tortoises are brought home as pets.

They are so popular that officially they are the second most common pet tortoise after the Mediterranean Spur-Thighed.

Williams has had Buddy as a pet for four years.

Williams said that Buddy doesn’t bite and that he is a very tame.

Buddy was being watched by some of Williams’ family at the time of his escape.

He had been out in the yard and decided to make a break for it.

“He got one block away,” said Williams.

He was found by a local girl.

“She didn’t know what to do with him so she put him in a cooler over night,” said Williams. “I guess later on she brought him out and set him out in the middle of the field (near the El Dorado Lake spillway).”

Williams said that Buddy began making his way to the spillway area and couldn’t make it past the rocks.

“He tipped over on his side,” said Williams.

Williams went on to explain that a little boy found him and placed the tortoise underneath a shade tree in the field just west of the spillway.

“Then they called the rangers,” said Williams.

Williams said that Buddy was then released near a creek in some heavier foliage by the spillway.

“They let him go in the cattails,” said Williams.

Buddy was released at the head of a creek that runs parallel to the spillway.

“All I want is my tortoise back,” said Williams. “I’ve been here for five days now and that’s been enough, that’s all I want.”

Alan Bisell and some volunteers showed to assist with the search for Buddy.

Tina McCluer was on of the volunteers.

“We searched for smaller things in rougher terrain,” said McCluer, reassuring Williams that the search would be successful.

The search team found some clues.

Tortoise prints were spotted in a muddy area and there appeared to be some chew marks on some cattails in the area.

“It’s weird at the house with out him,” said Williams. “It’s so strange.”

If Buddy is found please contact Marilyn at 316-409-9192 or 31-320-9644.