• Pair of runaway tortoises stun people in a Buford neighborhood

    By: Berndt Petersen

    Updated:

    HALL COUNTY, Ga. - They're common on the grasslands of Africa but it's not something you expect to see on the streets of Buford.

    Channel 2's Berndt Petersen spoke to people living in a neighborhood on Wallace Road who said a pair of African spur-thigh tortoises were wandering along the road. They were so big in size, one of them weighs nearly 90 pounds. 

    "My first thought was they're somebody's pets. Why are they here? Where did they come from?" said Bryan Powers would couldn't believe the sight. 

    It turns out, Powers was right. The pair belongs to Cyndi Moore who lovingly describes them as sneaky. 

    Their names are Luke and Mary.


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    Moore said one day last week, 85-pound Luke and 30-pound Mary got on the other side of their fence.

    "Well, they graze a lot. They're constant grazers. And the grass on the other side 'is' always greener!" Moore said.

    Turns out, a contractor doing work at the place forgot to lock up.

    "I think they really know when the gates are open, and they go straight out there!" Moore said.

    Moore said good thing Powers just happened to be around because he rescued the wandering couple. 

    "The feet on this thing are as big as my fists," he said. 

    Powers was so impressed by their massive size and he took them over to his place to show his children.

    "Oh, they had a blast.  We had them for probably an hour and a half," he said. "Better than a pony!"  "Ha! That's as close as they're gonna get."

    A couple of lost and found posts on social media quickly reunited the pets and their owner. Powers is glad he could help and wants you to forget everything you've ever heard about a tortoise being slow. 

    "Faster than you think. They move pretty fast. I bet they could cover 100 yards in two minutes," he said.

    Luke is 15 years old but he can live to be 100.  

    "When he grows up, he'll weigh 150 pounds," Moore said.

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