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Giant tortoise on the loose for 2 weeks found only 150 meters away from zoo

Seiichi Tonai, left, and his son Akira pose with escapee giant tortoise Aboo at the Shibukawa Animal Park in Tamano, Okayama Prefecture, on Aug. 16, 2017. (Mainichi)

TAMANO, Okayama -- An Aldabra giant tortoise on the lam from the Shibukawa Animal Park here since Aug. 1 was apprehended in a forest only 150 meters away from the facility on Aug. 16.

    Okayama city resident Seiichi Tonai, 39, and his 15-year-old son Akira saw the news of the escaped tortoise, named "Aboo," and after doing some research, found that giant tortoises liked to hide out in shady places. The father-son duo went looking for the fugitive in the forest near the zoo, and after only 15 minutes, discovered Aboo leisurely walking in a wooded area only 150 meters from where she had escaped.

    The giant tortoise eats fruit following its return to Shibukawa Animal Park in Tamano, Okayama Prefecture, on Aug. 16, 2017. (Mainichi)

    The some 50-kilogram escapee was carted back to the zoo on a wheelbarrow, and Tonai and his son collected the 500,000 yen reward money that had been put up for the animal two days earlier. After eating some fruit and enjoying care for the first time in 15 days, the estimated 35-year-old Aboo seemed in good health.

    "I'm glad she wasn't hurt," Tonai said. "We'll use the reward money to eat something delicious as a family." Akira added with a smile, "This made for good summer memories."

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