5 Missing Tortoises Returned, 1 Still Missing in Yukon
By Adrianna Iwasinski, NEWS 9
YUKON, Oklahoma -- Five tortoises that went missing from a man's backyard in Yukon have been returned, but one is still missing.
Terrance Shin owns 22 tortoises and 20 baby turtles. Of the 22 tortoises, six went missing on Thursday, July 8. Two of them are endangered.
Shin said he was devastated to find the six land turtles not in their pen and was worried they would die because of improper nutrition.
Shin said finding the five tortoises was all thanks to Jameson and Jaxen Gilmore and their friend Matt Doke. The boys discovered the missing tortoises during one of their daily neighborhood outings, way before the signs went up stating they were missing.
"Yeah and I was thinking, why in the world is there so many out here? It's just weird" Jaxen Gilmore said.
Shin said in four years, he's never had a turtle make its way out of his fenced in area.
"I think someone took them out and scattered them around, and then evidently they threw a couple of them in the water and these boys fished them out," Shin said.
Shin said it was a good thing they did. Otherwise, he said the tortoises could have died because, though turtles can live in water, tortoises cannot.
"They can't swim, so they would have drowned," Shin said.
Now they're finally back home safe and sound.
"They're my heroes, you know. They found them and stuff, and they volunteered to come over and watch them for me if I go on vacation even," Shin said.
Shin gave the boys a $100 reward for each tortoise they found plus a brand new baby tortoise of their very own.
Shin is one of three individuals in the state of Oklahoma that has the required federal permit for owning these exotic endangered animals.