150-pound giant turtle returns home after 74 days in Tennessee

Mid-South

ASHLAND CITY, Tenn. (NewsNation) — A 150-pound pet tortoise who escaped from a Tennessee home has been returned after 74 days, managing to make it less than a mile during his slow and steady journey.

The African Sulcata Tortoise named Soloman crawled away from his Ashland City enclosure more than two months ago. He was discovered just an eighth of a mile away from home last week, his owner, Lynn Cole, told NewsNation affiliate WKRN-TV.

Cole said Solomon is gentle and loves people. The beloved pet has been with the Cole family since birth.

“I’ve had him since he was a hatchling about the size of a silver dollar so he fit in the palm of my hand,” she said.

The rescuers, a man and his son, spotted Solomon grazing in a valley at a construction site and returned him within minutes.

He didn’t seem to make it far after escaping his pen June 8, but Cole said the true extent of the 15-year-old tortoise’s trek remains a mystery.

“I guess that we will never know the full details of Solomon’s great adventure and how he managed to elude us all for so long,” said Cole. “No matter his traveled course or intent, thanks to the gentleman and his son who happened to be driving by at that moment, Solomon is now safely at home and, as such, so much joy has been returned to our family.”

Solomon’s homecoming feast included his favorites — collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, bananas and watermelon rinds.

The Cole family plans to gift the reward initially offered to help find Solomon to the rescuers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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