An animal control officer in Illinois responded to a report of a large reptile on the loose and ended up wrangling a 45-pound African tortoise. Photo courtesy of the Morton Grove Police Department
June 23 (UPI) -- An animal control officer in a suburb of Chicago responded to an unusual call that involved her having to wrangle a 45-pound African tortoise.
Morton Grove Animal Control Officer Megan Glawocz said she responded Friday to a report of a large reptile eating parkway grass on a residential road near the Walgreens on Waukegan Road.
"I probably had about eight families on the block taking pictures of the tortoise when I arrived," Glowacz told the Chicago Tribune. "It wasn't afraid. It was just having a good grass meal and enjoying the sunshine. It was a very friendly tortoise."
Glowacz said she needed help from another officer to lift the massive African tortoise into a police car while she attempted to find the animal's owner.
The officer said the tortoise, named Betty, was reunited with her owner later in the afternoon. She said it turned out Betty had escaped from her owner's yard by digging her way to freedom.
"Her claws are very big and tortoises are notorious for digging," Glowacz said. "It was an appropriate enclosure, but persistency got in the way."
Glowacz said it was her first time being called out to wrangle a tortoise.
"It was a fun day," she said. "It's always interesting; you never know what you're going to come across."