3 large tortoises go missing in McHenry; 2 found

3 large tortoises go missing in McHenry; 2 found

Three large tortoises – with a combined weight of about 170 pounds, and all with McHenry owners – coincidentally went missing last weekend.

Only two have since been found.

Two of McHenry resident Joanne Straz’s tortoises escaped from her farm, but only the 100-pound female tortoise has turned up after someone dropped it off at a pet store called McHenry Pet Central. The male tortoise, named Turtle, still is missing.

Coincidentally, McHenry resident Stefan Levy also noticed his pet tortoise, Magoo, escaped from his backyard that same day. Levy said he first drove around the neighborhood looking for his missing pet. He then called up McHenry Pet Central, which said his missing tortoise was there. In an interesting twist, when Levy arrived at the pet store, he discovered that tortoise wasn’t his.

“Lo and behold when I get there, it’s not my tortoise,” Levy said. “It was a 100-pound tortoise and mine’s only 20 pounds. So I was all excited, then all depressed.”

The mystery of Levy’s missing tortoise didn’t last much longer. His pet tortoise made its way to McHenry Harley-Davidson, about a quarter mile from Levy’s home. Garrett Urban, who works at Harley-Davidson, said he discovered the tortoise in a prairie near the dealership.

 « One of the salespeople came up to me and said they found a tortoise, and I said, ‘We don’t have any tortoises around here,' » Urban said.

Urban said he originally didn’t believe there was a tortoise near the property, but to his amazement, he found the tortoise roaming around the prairie.

When Levy heard that staff at Harley-Davidson found the tortoise, he went over there, but the dealership already sent it over to Straz’s farm, thinking it was hers.

Levy then headed over to the farm, found his tortoise and talked to Straz about the weird coincidence of all three tortoises disappearing on the same day.

Even though two of the three tortoises have returned to their owners, Levy and Straz hope the last tortoise also finds its way safely home. However, Straz said she is suspicious that someone might be keeping the tortoise to try and sell it.

“These tortoises are a creature of habit, they always come back to sleep in the same spot at night, » Straz said. « So I’m thinking someone may have him, because years ago the tortoise escaped and found its way back to the farm. »

If anyone knows the whereabouts of the missing tortoise, Straz asked that she be contacted at 847-845-2186.