Police search for rare turtle stolen from Houston Zoo

By Ben Hooper
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May 30 (UPI) -- Police in Texas said they have identified a suspect in the theft of a rare turtle from the Houston Zoo, but they have yet to locate the suspect and reptile.

The Houston Police Department said an investigation into the disappearance of the snake-necked turtle, named Squishy, indicated it was taken by Houston resident Jaden Andel, 21, who posed for a souvenir photo with the animal before allegedly leaving the facility in an Uber.


Andel's Uber driver told police Andel displayed the turtle during the ride and bragged about "liberating" it from the zoo.

Police said managers at Andel's former apartment complex reported seeing the turtle after the March theft, but Andel is no longer residing at the complex.

Investigators said they are trying to determine the current whereabouts of the suspect and the missing reptile.

Zoo officials said Squishy requires a specialized diet to survive and is valued at more than $2,500.

Andel was contacted via Facebook by KRIV-TV and declared the investigation "a joke," but declined to comment further.

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