JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- The Fort Caroline Hills neighborhood got quite the surprise Tuesday evening when a giant tortoise was spotted walking up and down Valley Crest Court.
"It was a large tortoise. About that big. 22 inches was the shell length," witness Nate Deremer said.
Deremer spotted the guy or gal and decided to investigate. The tortoise walked right up to him and his family and took the lettuce it was offered. The species is known to live a hundred years and can get pretty hefty. While it took a nap under a shrub, Deremer called The Jacksonville Herpetological Society. After a few hours-- volunteers came and picked it up.
"We lured it off with some slices of apple and got it to the rescue location," Deremer continued.
Due to its friendliness and domestic qualities, rescuers believe the tortoise is someone's pet. Though it's come and gone, Deremer says he won't forget its massive presence anytime soon.
"Size of a push lawn mower. It was a big guy."
The next step is for the shelter to find the owner, if there is one. The rescue center told neighbors the tortoise was an African Spurred. It's the third largest species of tortoise in the world.