Have you seen Gus? 23-year-old tortoise escapes family backyard in Port Washington

NOW: Have you seen Gus? 23-year-old tortoise escapes family backyard in Port Washington

Updated: 1:14 p.m. on Sept. 29, 2023

PORT WASHINGTON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Gus' owner says she was found Friday, Sept. 29, after escaping her backyard last week. 

Brittany Hudson said the pet tortoise was found after a neighbor called and said he thought she may be in his driveway.

Published: 3:57 p.m. on Sept. 26, 2023

PORT WASHINGTON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- You know the saying: "You can run but you can't hide"? Well, for a tortoise it's quite the opposite.

Brittany Hudson told CBS 58 News she was 20 years old back in 2000, when she bought Augusta, aka "Gus," from a man in Arizona.

"She was only this big...smaller than a dollar bill,” she said.

Gus is now 23 years old, and red-footed tortoises typically live about 50 years.

"In college, I would take her to study with me in the park, put her on a leash like a dog," she said. "My kids and I take her in a wagon...we pull her down, walk the dog, take her down to Rotary Park here.”

That, however, hasn't been the case since Friday afternoon, when Hudson realized the 25-pound tortoise escaped from her backyard near East Monroe Street.

"She has like, a half of a dog cage that she crawls in and hides, and kind of made her way around that and pushed open the fence somehow and got out,” she explained.

Hudson said she was taking a nap before going into work, and after leaving Gus for several hours outside, she was gone.

She has since posted flyers all over the area for neighbors to help search for her pet.  

Augusta is described as having a black shell with yellow spots; her head and front legs are a bit yellow with red spots, and she is the size of two soccer balls side by side.

"We actually alerted the (Port) Washington Police Department, the Ozaukee Humane Society,” she added.

She's also taken to social media to alert the community, warning that this species cannot swim, they are only adapted to land. Gus, unfortunately, is notorious for hiding in dark places.

"In my heart, I feel like she’s just in the bushes, in someone’s yard or in a garage,” Hudson said.

Hudson is praying Gus finds her way back home, very soon.

"I've been devastated, crying, trying to go on with, you know, life," she expressed. "I know pets, to some people, are definitely family."

Hudson said a reward will only be given after she is safely returned home. If found, you can contact her at 608-963-8160, or her husband Andy, at 262-483-1161.

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