Two tortoises may be hard to miss, especially considering they can’t run fast. But their owner is on a desperate hunt for her pets that have been missing for more than a week.

Lakewood Hills neighbor Lynn Wilkes Armstrong said Iris and Petunia went missing March 6 from their heated barn in the backyard.

“We latch them in at night, so someone would have had to come and unlatch it and lift them up over the fence,” she said. “We can’t figure out why or who would do this to us. We’re just really sad and worried about them.”

The two African sulcata tortoises need special care, including nutritional supplements and medication so they don’t get an infection. As cold-blooded animals, they cannot control their body temperature. If they are outside when it’s cold, they could die.

“They’re not easy pets to have,” Armstrong said.

Sulcata tortoises are bred on a large scale in the United States, but Armstrong said her 20-year-old pets, which can live to be over 100, are decades away from breeding age.

Nor do they have significant retail value, she said. Price varies, but they can be purchased for $50-$200. Armstrong’s husband bought their first tortoise at a reptile show, and they got their second from a friend who could no longer care for it.

Armstrong said the 50-pound reptiles are more like family than pets, and they are included in her will. Anyone with information is asked to call 214-253-9142. Information leading to their return will be rewarded.

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