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Hairy Houdinis: 13 animal escape artists

By: Bryan Nelson on Aug. 17, 2017, 11:07 a.m.
Aboo the giant tortoise

Photo: NHK/YouTube

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Aboo the Aldabra giant tortoise

Slow and steady wins the race for some animal escape artists — for a while, anyway.

Aboo is a 35-year-old female Aldabra giant tortoise who lives at Shibukawa Animal Park in Tamano, Japan. She had reportedly never tried to escape since coming to the zoo in 2004, and was allowed to roam freely in an unenclosed area. But then, in July 2017, a zoo employee found Aboo walking down the road 150 meters (about 490 feet) away from the zoo.

"I spotted her on the way to the zoo. I stopped my car and asked my colleagues to help," Yoshimi Yamane told Agence France-Presse. "She can walk faster than we can ever imagine."

Aboo was returned to the zoo, but her taste of freedom left her hungry for more. On Aug. 1, just 11 days after her first escape, Aboo went missing again. And this time she proved more elusive, leading the zoo to offer a reward of 500,000 yen ($4,500) for her return. Finally, after two weeks on the lam, Aboo was found by a man and his son. She was hidden in bushes 140 meters (460 feet) from the zoo.

"I feel relieved," Yamane told the Japan Times, noting Aboo was unhurt. "From now on, we'll make sure to take perfect care of our animals."