Brandenburg Police had cause for shell-ebration after recapturing the escaped giant African spurred tortoise - aka #NinjaTurtle - over the weekend.
Photo: Twitter/Polizei Brandenburg

Falkensee - A giant tortoise went on a rampage at a property in the Brandenburg town of Falkensee, Havelland. The owner of the Beethovenstraße property called police on Saturday at 3.45pm. When officers arrived at the scene, they discovered the one-metre long reptile weighing approximately 60 kg.

The animal was already raging around the property owner’s garden terrace when they called the police – it had already bowled over the garden table and chairs.

“We were able to recapture the tortoise without resistance or any attempt to escape,” Brandenburg police said on Sunday. The tortoise was uninjured.

Firefighters were also called to help catch the animal by building a makeshift enclosure to help constrict the movement of the “very active giant tortoise.” Officials then called in a professional animal catcher. Recovering the heavy and unwieldy animal had been a demanding task for those involved, the police spokesperson said.

The creature in question was an African spurred tortoise, which is on the Red List of Threatened Species. It is the third largest species of land tortoise in the world today, after the Galapagos and Seychelles giant tortoises. They can weigh up to 80 kg and live to the age of 70, and their shells can measure up to 80 cm. In the wild, they can be found on the dry plains of north-central Africa.

The owner of the tortoise called police that evening to report his pet as missing. “He was overjoyed when he heard that his tortoise had been recaptured without any injury,” the police spokesperson said.

Brandenburg Police subsequently tweeted a picture of the adventurous tortoise - which they nicknamed #NinjaTurtle - alongside two of the officers involved in the rescue mission. 

Adapted for the English Edition by Elizabeth Rushton.