Arthur, mysteriously missing tortoise, returns, is found by museum visitor under lobby bench



Photo by Don Mosur, published in the SF Weekly

The kidnapped Randall Museum tortoise was discovered under a lobby bench by a visitor.

A post in Montara Fog’s Fogforum gives some of the details:

From Fogforum

The Randall Museum is pleased to announce that Arthur, the missing 50-year-old California Desert Tortoise, has been safely returned to the museum. The tortoise was mysteriously taken from the live animal exhibition at the Randall Museum nearly two months ago and was found on Saturday by a Randall staff member under a museum bench.

“The tortoise’s return is just as mysterious as its disappearance,” said Nancy Ellis, Randall Museum’s animal exhibit coordinator. “There are clear signs that the tortoise has spent some time outdoors, but he seems in pretty good shape and we are happy to have him back.” At the age of 50 and having been a resident at the Randall Museum for 30 of those years, it’s a good thing Arthur is back where he can be taken care of properly and live out the next 30-or-so-years of his of life. “Desert Tortoises can live to be 100 years old. This makes them poor candidates for family pets,” explains Ellis. “Here at the Randall Museum Arthur can live out his days happily and serve as an animal ambassador to help educate museum visitors.”

The SF Weekly fills in a few blanks:

From SF Weekly

Then on Saturday the museum’s front desk receptionist informed animal caretakers that a parent had discovered Arthur under a bench in the lobby. There’s no chance he’d been there all along, Mosur explained, because staff had repeatedly searched the facility during his six-week absence.

While Arthur was gone, the museum received a donation of two younger California desert tortoises. When he got back, he had two roommates. Despite 33 years living alone, Arthur seemed to adapt well. By Wednesday none of the animals had charged each other, or bobbed their heads at each other, as tortoises will do when annoyed.

To protect the new household from out-of-line animal lovers, the museum is extending the width of the fence surrounding their space with Plexiglas sneeze-guard-like barriers, to make it more difficult for patrons to hop over the fence and tortoisenap.

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