By Shirin Rajaee


ROSEVILLE (CBS13) — Lost for seven days, a missing tortoise has been reunited with her family in Roseville. She apparently traveled more than five miles away from her home, but it’s where she ended up that’s truly remarkable.

Sara Coggeshall thought she’d never see her Sweety again.

“You’re like, ‘this can’t be, this can’t be,’ then you say, ‘wow this really happened.’ My biggest fear she was run over, or attacked, or just gone for good,” said Coggeshall.

The Roseville mother has had a (s)hell of a time trying to find Sweety, who was passed down by Coggeshall’s father 20 years ago.

Taking to social media and posting up missing flyers, she desperately searched for anyone who’d “stick out their neck and help.”

READ: Ethel Is Safe! Missing Instagram Star Tortoise Found Three Weeks Later

Days later, and about five miles away, there was hope.

“I couldn’t believe it was hers. She lived all the way in Roseville,” said Angela Martin.

Martin spotted a tortoise on her drive home in Orangevale and took her in. Assuming it was someone’s pet, she immediately took to Facebook.

“She seemed shy, but as soon as Sara picked her up, she was excited, came out of her shell,” said Martin.

But it gets better. Russian tortoises are known to be escape artists and somehow Sweety traveled all the way back to where the family used to live years ago.

“As soon as I saw the street address, I started crying,” said Coggeshall.  “The fact that my Sweety, my Russian tortoise walked from the house she lived in for 10 years and went back to the house she used to live in 10 years ago; it’s bizarre.”

It’s bizarre, yet pretty remarkable. One theory is that Sweety went back looking for her iguana friend.

“The iguana would be in one spot [and] she would chase her; the iguana would move she would chase her again. So maybe she misses her,” said Coggeshall.

Just how the tortoise managed to get across busy Greenback Lane remains a mystery.

“It’s incredible. I thought I was just helping someone find their pet, but to think this turtle traveled so far and I was able to reunite the family again, I feel really good,” said Martin.

“I hope she gets enough rest, so she can tell me the story cause I’m curious,” Coggeshall said with a laugh.

Sweety is doing fine. She only suffered minor scrapes to her shell and nose. She is going to a vet to get fully checked out.

Shirin Rajaee

Comments (4)
  1. Suzie says:

    Sadly, turtles bond to their birthplaces and, if removed from a one-mile radius, will spend the rest of their lives trying to get back, according to a naturalist in Central Park to whom I had pointed out a rather large turtle out in the open. I thought perhaps it should be moved to the woods, due to high dog traffic, but the naturalist explained why not and promised to keep an eye on him. The moral of this story: don’t take turtles out of the wild, but if you must, keep them in the same small area.

  2. Stanford Greer says:

    I once took a box turtle about 5 miles away from our house in Kansas because he was excavating under steps and causing trouble. I had hit him with a mower and he had a chunk out of his shell. Exactly one year later he was back after crossing 5 miles of prairie, a drainage canal and the Ninnescah River. I had to keep him after that effort.

  3. Viochita Fea says:

    The U.S. Army has a dreadful program moving rare and endangered desert tortoises — totally tortuous and ineffectual — it’s another army animal murder program they like to celebrate. https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2016/desert-tortoise-03-08-2016.html

  4. Erika Becerra says:

    what the hell? they left an iguana behind?

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