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Monday, March 22, 2010

Filched, Incontinent Tortoise Still Missing From S.F. Museum

Posted By on Mon, Mar 22, 2010 at 12:01 AM

Arthur the tortoise was swiped from the Randall Museum earlier this month - DOM MOSUR
  • Dom Mosur
  • Arthur the tortoise was swiped from the Randall Museum earlier this month
If you're the miscreant who ran off earlier this month with Arthur, the Randall Museum's crowd-pleasing tortoise, here's yet another reason to unhand him. He doesn't enjoy being carried around and, according to his caretaker, "he doesn't like being handled; it can cause him to vacate his bladder."

On March 10, Arthur went missing from his enclosure at the museum; a man wearing a black backpack was seen leaving the museum at around the time staff figure the California desert tortoise was filched (he's a tortoise. He didn't run away). Arthur is probably 40 to 50 years old, and he's lived at the Randall Museum since Jerry Brown was governor.

"He loved to roam the museum lawn, eat clover, and he didn't mind being petted on his shell by the kids," said Dom Mosur, the museum's animal exhibition assistant. "I've seen quite a few of our regulars burst into tears at the news of his disappearance."

Arthur -- who Mosur always referred to, simply, as "the tortoise" or "Grandpa -- he's older than me so I try to be respectful" could live to be 100 if properly taken care of. But it's not at all a certainty whomever appropriated him will do so -- and Mosur is worried.

As a desert creature, Arthur craves high heat and has a basking area at the museum kept at 110 degrees. He needs fresh vegetables and other greens -- and if he's handled and pees, he can become dehydrated very quickly. If deprived of his high-heat basking area, he could very quickly develop a lethal respiratory infection. In short, he's a middle-aged guy who's become accustomed to his place in life -- and shaking things up is not a good thing.

Arthur is about 20 inches long and a foot wide and he weighs 12 pounds. Mosur said that if Grandpa were to be returned to the museum, he would be welcomed back -- with no questions asked. If you spot a tortoise resembling Arthur, Mosur welcomes your call at (415) 554-9065.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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