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Reward Offered in Search for Missing West County Tortoise

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A stock photo of an African spurred tortoise, via Flickr.

A stock photo of an African spurred tortoise, via Flickr.

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WILDWOOD, Mo. (KMOX) - The race is on to find a 125-pound pet tortoise before the cold nights end his life.

“He’s got a dark brown shell that has dried up sap on it from his favorite evergreen tree,” explains owner Viola Haegele of Town & Country. “So he may be like hunkering underneath a tree but during the day they seek out sun so he will be out, probably in the sun, trying to eat some grass.”

There is a $2,500 reward for anyone who finds Leo, a large African spurred tortoise who was spotted last week near Highway 100 and Highway OO near Wildwood. Leo has been missing for nearly four months.

“It requires two people to pick him up, he’s very large and heavy,” Haegele said. “He does not bite but if you walk upon him rather fast he will be startled and he will hiss.”

Haegele says a Boy Scout troop is planning to search the woods near the most recent sighting this weekend. Anyone who finds the turtle can call her at (314) 565-9103.

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