Museum seeks return of stolen tortoise

April 4, 2013 at 2:00 PM

DUBUQUE, Iowa, April 4 (UPI) -- Officials at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Iowa said they were hoping for the safe return of an 18-pound leopard tortoise.

Directors at the Dubuque facility said someone climbed the 4-foot-tall glass wall this week and walked off with Cashew the tortoise, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids, reported Thursday.

"It could have been in a backpack or a large shopping bag or wrapped it in a coat," Executive Director Jerry Enzler said.

Enzler said Cashew was part of an exhibit featuring more than 60 turtle species.

Gail DeMoss, owner of New Earth Animal in Galena, said a tortoise like Cashew can fetch up to $2,000 on the black market.

Enzler said the museum was more concerned about the animal's well-being than about her worth.

"Whoever has it, we hope would call the museum and return it or at a minimum find out what's the best approach to keep the animal alive," Enzler said.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending News
Man named 'Something Long and Complicated' proves identity to Facebook
Montreal man's political posters: 'I just wanted a sign'
Audit: Scientists in Antarctica prone to alcohol-fueled fights, indecent exposure
Alaska Airlines misplaced its own CEO's luggage
Semi truck caught on camera crossing South Carolina flood waters