Frankie is a rescued 16-year-old, 75-pound sulcata tortoise that has been missing since September 30. He dug out of his owners’ yard on Hummingbird Ln. and crossed Lithia Pinecrest Rd. that same day.
A close-up of the dent on the top of Frankie’s shell.

When you drive around neighborhoods and see signs for missing pets, they are most likely missing cats or dogs. You never see signs for a missing tortoise.

Nicole Fisher hopes this story will be her missing pet sign for her pet tortoise, Frankie. “Frankie is our rescued 16-year-old, 75-pound sulcata tortoise that has been missing since September 30,” Fisher said. “He dug out of our yard on Hummingbird Ln., and we know crossed Lithia Pinecrest that same day. He’s about 20 inches long and 12 inches high and brown.”

Fisher and her husband are big animal lovers and have lived in their current home in Brandon since 2004.

“We have four chickens, a cat, a dog and Frankie,” Fisher said. “My husband and I rescued Frankie four years ago from a tortoise rescue in Wimauma. He was from New York, and someone gave him up because they could no longer care for him. He has a dented-on-tip-top shell. He is super friendly and will come to you if you have romaine lettuce. He is also very missed by us.”

The couple have an acre yard that is completely fenced in, but Frankie found a soft spot of fence that could be lifted up, which the couple had no idea about, and he got under it.

“He ended up crossing Lithia Pinecrest, near Hummingbird Ln.,” Fisher said. “We know this because someone contacted me with pictures three weeks ago to let us know she had seen him. A man helped Frankie cross. Frankie normally roamed our yard, under supervision, but on September 30, there was 30 minutes that had gone by when my husband and I were unfortunately not paying attention. Frankie is not your usual slow tortoise; he can really hustle when he wants to. I have not posted a reward, but I do plan to give one if he is found.”

The Fishers are asking our readers in the Valrico area to please keep an eye out for Frankie.

“He is too big to be missed,” Fisher said. “I think people see him and think, ‘Oh it’s just another Florida tortoise’—big wild tortoises are not common. They also like to dig big holes to keep cool, but with the cool weather coming, Frankie may get into someone’s shed or hide in their bushes.”

If you should see Frankie, please contact Fisher at kneecole1102@aol.com immediately.

“Frankie is very missed,” Fisher said. “We want him home safely and soon.”

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Libby is a writer for The Osprey Observer/The Christian Voice. She started as an intern in 2009 and upon finishing her internship, she was asked to stay on as a permanent writer for both papers. Libby lives in Brandon with her two rescue dogs, Olive and Bogey.