You might need more than a hefty dinner plate to imagine the size of Frank the Tank, a sulcata tortoise who’s on the hunt for a lasting residence. Found marooned amidst spinach leaves in British Columbia, Frank, with his behemoth size and anticipated lifespan, has become a talk of the town.
While strolling through her farm in the vicinity of Richmond, Shelley Smith was perplexed to discover what she initially presumed to be an unfamiliar rock amidst her bok choy and spinach crops. But the rock had legs – and it was moving.
The sheer scale of the tortoise baffled Smith and her company. “It’s like gazing at a turkey platter designed for a grand Thanksgiving feast with two dozen guests,” Smith humorously shared with the local animal welfare center.
While the massive creature has been temporarily placed under a foster family’s care, the search for a permanent sanctuary continues. Dr. Adrian Walton from the Dewdney animal hospital illuminates that such cases, where massive tortoises are left behind by owners daunted by their upkeep, aren’t unusual. Originating from the Sahara, these endangered species frequently find themselves at the heart of the exotic pet trade.
Walton elucidates the misconception many have about these tortoises. “They may seem affordable as a pet, but their size quickly grows beyond what an average household can accommodate. Plus, their life expectancy is a fact many don’t quite grasp.”
Frank’s saga has resonated with numerous potential adopters, but few possess the requisite space and infrastructure. As tortoises crave warmth in winters and vast open fields in summers, their demands can be challenging.
Highlighting the long-term commitment required, a representative stated, “Frank isn’t just another pet. He’s an inheritance. A commitment that transcends generations. We need to ensure his century-long journey is comfortable.”