The mystery of the missing tortoise - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

The mystery of the missing tortoise

East Albany, Vermont - April 15, 2010

In the remote woods of Vermont's Northeast Kingdom-- a truly wild mystery.

"I don't think there's another one in the state," Peter Lowry said.

Lowry discovered last weekend his unnamed giant African tortoise was missing from its pen.

Lowry is a tropical bird and reptile breeder. The former Bronx Zoo worker is confident the rare tortoise was stolen. "He couldn't get through all these doors and walls," he explains.

The 19-year-old tortoise weighs more than 110 pounds.

"This guy? That's Baby Lindbergh," Lowry said.

Lowry says a man threatened to steal the pet a few years back because of its novelty. "It seems to have happened," the owner said.

Lowry's home is way off the main road in East Albany, so he knows someone must have really wanted the tortoise. Vermont State Police are investigating and if they find the person or people who took the animal, they could face felony charges, because the tortoise is valued at several thousand dollars.

But Lowry said, "I don't care about the prosecution of people."

He just wants his tortoise back safely.

"It's like stealing the Mona Lisa," he said. "What do you do? Put it in the bathroom and make everyone use the upstairs bathroom?"

Lowry hopes in small towns, someone will notice an out-of-place animal and help get it back where it belongs.

Police do have a person of interest in the case. In the meantime, Peter Lowry worries someone will try feeding his tortoise dog food or other meals, saying that could make the animal sick.

Jack Thurston - WCAX News

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