200-pound tortoise back at home after found wandering streets

Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 4:23 PM EDT
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DALLAS (WFAA) – A great mystery in Texas involving a giant tortoise has been solved.

Dallas Animal Services has been trying to locate the rightful owner of a 200-pound tortoise after it was found wandering the streets last week.

Field supervisors got the call for the lost tortoise on Sept. 19.

“It was bizarre. It was just the strangest thing,” field supervisor Shannon Miller said.

The owner was finally found thanks to social media.

DAS posted a picture of the tortoise online and asked anyone who might have lost him to give them a call.

More than 20 people contacted them.

“I thought, how can this many people have lost their tortoise and not find it?” Assistant Director of DAS Mary Martin said.

Finally, the tortoise’s rightful owner, Gabriel Fernandez, came forward after he saw the viral post.

“As soon as I saw him I knew right away it was him,” Fernandez said.

The giant tortoise, named Lorenzo, escaped from under a fence at Fernandez’s home.

At the home are 41 other pets, including a spider monkey that wears dresses and a diaper.

As it turns out, the tortoise has another claim to fame. Lorenzo also used to live at the zoo in the Netflix show “Tiger King.”

“Oh yeah, that’s funny, I got him from Jeff Lowe who was on the ‘Tiger King,’” Fernandez said.

Lorenzo survived five long weeks in the wild, and his strange story is also a sweet one after Lorenzo was brought back home.

“If it wasn’t for everybody sharing, I never would’ve seen it,” Fernandez said.

Fernandez’s five children were also happy to see their favorite pet back at home.

Lorenzo is a sulcata tortoise. They tend to get very big and love to dig, often escaping under fences, which is why DAS believes so many people thought Lorenzo could have been their tortoise.