When a Citrus county Tortoise is not what you expect!

It began with a call

“We get calls from all kinds of people who spot wildlife, but in the summer of 2019 we got a call from one of our regular Citrus County customers,” began Michael Czerwinski. “A heavy equipment and earth moving company told us that there was a large tortoise in their equipment yard,” he continued.  We asked them to send us a picture.

Surprisingly, there was a tortoise. But this tortoise was not a domestic Florida native like the Gopher Tortoise often sighted in the area. Its patterns and shape were different. This was an African Spurred Tortoise. Learn more about this species here. Did it cross the Atlantic ocean to arrive in Citrus County?

A team from Michael G. Czerwinski Environmental Consultants loaded up and headed over to scout the situation. 

Tracking Tortoise

This tortoise traveled across Citrus county. It was found two miles from its home, two years later.

Bring it into the corral, partner

Michael G Czwerwinski Office
Central office of our company in Lecanto, Florida.

The tortoise was rounded up, made comfortable, checked out for injury, and brought back to the office. Surely there must be an explanation. This had to be a pet, right? 

Fire up the social media machine. Get the word out. Someone must be missing their African Spurred Tortoise.

Meanwhile, make sure the tortoise had plenty of forage and water, and keep it safe and contained. One of our team took it home and placed it in their fenced back yard.

It worked. Chompy identified.

African spurred tortoise foodThe tentacles of social media reached out in Citrus County, and somehow a friend of a friend of a lurker of a friend discovered the tortoise post. That’s Chompy!

Chompy was the pet of a Homosassa family. He had decided to go for a “walk about” and crossed Citrus County while out discovering the universe. An African spurred tortoise had travelled miles, avoiding cars, ditches, dogs, and other threats on his travels.

Reunited. Almost.

And so, armed with a social media contact, our team was determined to help Chompy return home. But when the day arrived, Chompy left the fenced yard and disappeared again into the wild of Citrus County. Chompy was Chompy Houdini, the magician.

Our team fanned out, once again on the track of the Tortoise. And once again they found Chompy. This time about 2000 feet away, headed off on a new adventure.

By 3PM, Chompy the African spurred tortoise had finished a delightful head of lettuce and was comfortable again as he family showed up to collect him. Chompy returned to Homosassa, and remains there to this day. Or does he?

Solve your environmental mysteries by contacting Michael G. Czerwinski Environmental Consultants. Let us help you get on track!