SANTA CRUZ, Calif.—A 70-pound tortoise found wandering a street has been reunited with its owner.
Gregg Kirksey, 49, was overjoyed to get back his beloved pet Panga on Monday.
The tortoise "is a big part of the family," Kirksey said.
Kirksey tracked Panga down at the Animal Services Authority shelter in Scotts Valley after recognizing the reptile's picture on the front page of the Santa Cruz Sentinel newspaper.
The 10-year-old Sulcata tortoise had slipped through an open gate at the family's Santa Cruz house on Sunday and started making his way down the street.
An animal shelter volunteer driving by rescued Panga and took him to a local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals center.
Kirksey's family bought Panga seven years ago, and raised the creature as a female. The SPCA, however, determined that Panga was a male.
Panga, who loves strawberries, normally crawls around the family's backyard and snoozes in his own heated wood and ceramic shack, Kirksey said.
Sulcatas can live to be 100 years old and weigh up to 200 pounds.
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