Thick-skinned traveling tortoise No. 2 turns up

Thick-skinned traveling tortoise No. 2 turns up

POST FALLS – When Kailyn Hartt was cutting hay on Monday, she heard a « clicking » noise.

When she stopped to check it out, she couldn’t believe what she had clipped with the swather.

« I thought, ‘What the hell is a tortoise doing here?' » Hartt said. « All of my family said, ‘Are you sure it’s not a turtle?' »

It was the second tortoise who wandered away not too far from its home in Brickert Estates in Post Falls.

Hartt was working in Big Sky Estates near the Brickert neighborhood when she found the tortoise. While the swather trimmed pieces of the tortoise’s shell and caused some bleeding, it didn’t appear to seriously injure the animal, Hartt said.

Hartt’s find brought closure to the case of two missing tortoises from the same home. She contacted the Post Falls Police Department on Monday, but it had no reports of a missing tortoise.

But a story in Tuesday’s Press – about a recovered tortoise and another that was still missing – prompted Hartt to contact the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office and connect with the owner later in the morning.

« My friends on Facebook were letting me know about the article, » she said.

The other tortoise was found by Kathy Dutro in her pasture off Huetter Road – also not far from Brickert Estates – on Friday. That tortoise was returned to the owner on Monday.

The tortoises are about 15 inches long, 8 inches tall and weigh about 25 pounds.

Dutro said a relative of the tortoises’ owner indicated that the tortoises had dug under a fence and had been missing about a week. This apparently wasn’t the first time they escaped.

The owner of the tortoises did not return multiple messages seeking comment.

« He thanked me over and over, » Hartt said. « He was glad to get it back. »

Hartt said she checked with law enforcement first before she took the tortoise from the field where she found it to her home near Hauser.

« I put hog panels around it and gave it some grass and water, » she said.

Hartt’s discovery made for fun chatter on Facebook.

« Most hay people hit moles, snakes and fawns, but no Kailyn’s got to make it interesting and hit a tortoise, » she wrote.

A friend of Hartt’s wrote: « Silly ninja turtles digging under fences. »