Residents of the Oceanside neighborhood said they called police and the Humane Society when they saw the turtle, which was taped to some balloons, stuck in a tree, KGTV, San Diego, reported Thursday.
The fire department attempted a rescue about an hour later, but a gust of wind blew the turtle and its balloons back down to the ground.
The box turtle was freed by a Humane Society worker.
The Humane Society said the turtle was being cared for and officials were working to identify the owner, who they said could face animal abuse charges.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]