An African Spur Thigh #Tortoise, resident of GarLyn Zoo, is said to have “inadvertently assisted” in Carlos the Aligator's Escape Thursday!

We can’t say for sure, but there are some serious Shawshank Redemption undertones about this story… Also, this big guy looks pretty pleased with himself. 

(Via AssociatedPress &

NAUBINWAY (AP) — An owner of a zoo in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula says a 12-inch alligator has escaped, possibly with some help from a tortoise.

TV stations WWTV-WWUP and WPBN-WTOM reports the alligator named Carlos got out of an enclosure over the weekend at the GarLyn Zoo near Naubinway. He was spotted by people nearby, who called police, but he wasn’t caught.

Gary Moore, who runs the zoo in Mackinac County with his wife, says he suspects the alligator slipped underneath a fence. Moore says a large tortoise that walks in the area, wearing away dirt, likely was an inadvertent accomplice in Carlos’ getaway.

GarLyn Zoo is home to about 100 animals, including two adult alligators. Anyone who spots Carlos is asked to contact police or the zoo.


Happy World Turtle Day! We’re shellebrating our fine reptilian friends with some turtle fun-facts.

Did you know:

  • There are approximately 290 species of turtles and tortoises that inhabit oceans, fresh waters, and land environments.
  • Turtles are characterized by two broad bony shells that enclose and protect the body and jaws without teeth that form a beak-like structure.
  • Once they enter the sea after hatching, male Hawksbill sea turtles never leave it, and females come out only to lay their eggs.
  • Did you know the Museum is helping to preserve the iconic Galápagos tortoise Lonesome George?
  • For centuries, ships would load up on Galápagos tortoises to provide fresh meat during sea voyages, one tortoise could provide 200 pounds of meat.
  • The Leatherback is the largest turtle, reaching a length of almost 6 feet, while smaller species, such as the Bog turtle, reach a maximum shell length of 4 inches. 
  • Did you know that two brother African spur-thighed tortoises live in the Museum? Meet Hermes and Mud!
  • Softshell turtles, genus Trionyx, have gill-like filaments in their pharynx that serve as respiratory organs.

Stop by the Hall of Reptiles and Amphibians to learn more. 

Oh franklin is such a ham! Look at that face! Loving the attention and the outside time. I’d probably make a stop at walmart to meet you Franklin. :) 

(Source: The Brunswick News)

While holiday sales are still a few days away, motorists were rapidly turning into the Walmart parking lot Monday evening for a different reason: to get a look at a 400 pound tortoise lumbering along the sidewalk in front of the store. The head-turner turned out to be Benjamin Franklin, a Sulcata African land tortoise who is a pet of Randy “Turtle Man” Gallagher of Calabash, N.C. Gallagher, who runs a turtle rescue unit and has taken in several of the large tortoises from pet owners who didn’t realize they would get so big and live so long was passing through Brunswick and stopped at Walmart for a break and to let Franklin get a little exercise


The Museum is home to Tyrannosaurus rex, a blue whale…and two live tortoises! Meet Hermes and Mud, a pair of brother African spur-thighed tortoises, the third-largest type of tortoise (after Galapagos and Aldabra). They eat hay, go for walks on the lawn, and have swankier digs than most New Yorkers. Hermes and Mud were adopted by Darrel Frost, curator of herpetology, and have been delighting lucky Museum visitors ever since. 


U.F.O. Unidentified Frankie Object! One of our all time favorites and apparently the pet supermarket’s contest favorite too! Congrats on First Place Frankie!!!!

See some more pics of this UFO sighting on Frankie’s blog!

Frankie’s Tortoise Tails! is another must read tortoise blog!! Frankie’s mom details all of Frankie’s shenanigans in the most wonderful way and gives some important insight into life with 100lbs of shell baby :) 

Check out Frankie’s facebook page too! 


Yoshi the Sulcata Tortoise! World Cup contender? Or is FIFA afraid of his skills and good looks?