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Woman searching for missing tortoise

November 20, 2018

UPDATE: The tortoise has been found. Rachel Avery said she was found crawling down the road toward Loop 338 Monday night.

An Odessa woman is searching for her father’s missing desert tortoise — one of his last possessions after he lost both of his houses to the fires in California.

Rachel Avery said she traveled to Sacramento last week where her father had been re-evacuated to, after being evacuated to Chico, and picked up his tortoise, Shelby. It was the only thing he had with him when he left his home, aside from his own van, and the only living creature he had. Avery said her father has had Shelby, now 9 years old, since she could fit in the palm of his hand.

While her father is still in California waiting to get to his property, Avery and her husband took his tortoise with them back to their home near Hawthorne Court and 93rd Street. On Friday, her husband had set Shelby in the backyard with some corn on the cob.

“He put her out and within 10 minutes she disappeared off the face of the earth,” Avery said.

Avery said she and 17 other people spent that night looking all over for Shelby and all day Saturday, and they’ve put out signs everywhere to see if anybody had found her, but no such luck so far.

“I think maybe somebody saw her and maybe thought she was somebody’s pet,” Avery said. “I’m just hoping that because it’s been so cold at night somebody did happen to pick her up, because we live right off the 338 Loop.”

Shelby can’t travel very quickly, especially in the cold, Avery said, and said she weighs about 45 to 50 pounds.

“I even had to make a police report because they were worried someone might sell her,” Avery said.

Avery added that there will be a reward for anyone who can find Shelby. Anyone who may have found or turtle can call Avery at 208 530-1419.

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