Twister, a 75 pound tortoise, vanishes from reptile center

Where is Twister the tortoise?That's the question an Idaho reptile rescue and education center is asking after...

Posted: Jul 25, 2018 2:25 PM
Updated: Jul 25, 2018 2:25 PM

Where is Twister the tortoise?

That's the question an Idaho reptile rescue and education center is asking after the 75 pound animal vanished Monday.

Twister is 30-35 years old and has a red, white, blue and yellow painted shell. He was donated to Reptile Adventures several months ago where he lived with 150 other animals.

Owner Tyler Messina recently took Twister and five other tortoises to his house so the reptiles could graze on grass and leaves.

"Every night I do my counts before we go to bed and he was there for roll call Sunday," Messina tells EastIdahoNews.com. "Monday he was gone and the only thing we can think of is that somebody took him. I don't know if somebody saw him from the sidewalk and just grabbed him but he's gone."

Messina says there aren't any holes in the fence surrounding the tortoises and no large burrows were found in the ground. Twister's five tortoise friends weren't touched and Messina has no idea where the popular reptile could be.

"We got Twister from a family that had him for 30 years. The original owners were getting older and the kids and grandkids weren't interested in keeping him," Messina says. "We use him to educate people about the dangers of painting tortoise shells and the public loved him."

Painting shells was common in the late 80's and early 90's, according to Messina, but the practice is unsafe.

Wildlife officials say paint can hinder the reptiles ability to absorb vitamins they need from the sun, cause respiratory problems, allow toxic chemicals into the bloodstream and more.

"He has survived close to 20 years with that paint on him. We tried to scrub it off without hurting him but it's on there for good," Messina says.

Reptile Adventures wrote about Twister on Facebook Monday and the post had been shared over 1,000 times by Wednesday morning.

Tortoises can live to be 100 years old and Messina hopes his reptile friend finishes out his long life back at home.

"We hope to get him home as soon as possible," Messina says.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 36578

Reported Deaths: 2258
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion10188604
Lake3876207
Allen181071
Cass15919
Elkhart158528
St. Joseph135838
Hendricks120478
Hamilton119194
Johnson1125113
Madison60061
Porter56233
Clark53942
Bartholomew53139
LaPorte44824
Howard44236
Tippecanoe4344
Jackson4012
Delaware39741
Shelby39722
Hancock35427
Boone32436
Floyd31941
Vanderburgh2913
Morgan28626
Noble27821
Montgomery24917
Clinton2471
White2399
Decatur23132
Grant22923
Dubois2113
Kosciusko2052
Harrison19622
Marshall1872
Henry18512
Vigo1828
Greene17226
Dearborn17122
Monroe17113
Lawrence17124
Warrick16729
Miami1461
Putnam1427
Jennings1324
Orange13122
LaGrange1282
Scott1263
Franklin1168
Ripley1086
Daviess10416
Carroll952
Wayne906
Steuben902
Wabash812
Newton8010
Fayette797
Jasper741
Jay580
Clay533
Randolph523
Rush513
Fulton511
Washington501
Pulaski500
Jefferson491
Whitley453
DeKalb451
Starke423
Perry390
Huntington382
Sullivan371
Wells350
Owen341
Brown331
Benton320
Knox310
Blackford272
Tipton261
Crawford250
Adams231
Switzerland220
Spencer221
Fountain222
Gibson202
Parke180
Posey160
Martin140
Warren131
Ohio130
Vermillion100
Union100
Pike60
Unassigned0180

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 37758

Reported Deaths: 2357
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin6323295
Cuyahoga4789265
Hamilton2811171
Marion268832
Lucas2329263
Pickaway209938
Summit1529181
Mahoning1486191
Butler97532
Columbiana89453
Stark803102
Montgomery73417
Lorain73061
Trumbull60052
Belmont44915
Warren40721
Medina37624
Tuscarawas3714
Ashtabula36938
Miami36730
Delaware36014
Portage33557
Lake32512
Clark3237
Fairfield3188
Wood30649
Geauga30334
Wayne29651
Licking27110
Mercer2278
Richland2224
Allen22133
Clermont2195
Darke19023
Erie18416
Madison1647
Washington11819
Crawford1184
Morrow1081
Ottawa10717
Greene1065
Putnam9514
Sandusky9112
Monroe8015
Auglaize773
Hardin730
Ross732
Hocking705
Jefferson672
Huron611
Williams581
Holmes573
Union561
Muskingum561
Hancock531
Coshocton480
Wyandot482
Clinton471
Shelby473
Fulton450
Logan430
Fayette410
Preble391
Guernsey382
Carroll353
Defiance342
Brown311
Lawrence301
Highland291
Champaign281
Seneca262
Knox251
Ashland230
Vinton212
Perry191
Athens181
Scioto180
Henry170
Jackson150
Paulding140
Adams111
Harrison100
Pike90
Gallia81
Van Wert70
Meigs60
Noble60
Morgan50
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 84°
Angola
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 81°
Huntington
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 82°
Decatur
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 84°
Van Wert
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 84°
Sunny & Pleasant Weekend
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events