The ‘flying tortoise’ found dangling from a tree in Oceanside, tied to several bright green balloons back on Aug. 19, has finally found himself a place to call home – and it’s on safe, firm land to boot.
The reptile -- now named “Thomas” – was rescued by the San Diego Humane Society in the 4200 block of Humboldt Bay Way in Oceanside.
Crews were able to free the airborne animal attached to a bouquet of helium-inflated balloons before the tortoise could sustain any serious injuries.
Following the incident PETA offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for duct-taping Thomas to the balloons, but a suspect was never named in the tortoise torture case.
On Wednesday, the San Diego Human Society announced that Thomas has been adopted by Alicia Berg, a local program instructor with the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation, pictured right with Thomas at Mission Trails.
Berg and Thomas will now join educational outreach programs and teach children about the proper treatment and care of animals. Thomas will visit classrooms throughout San Diego County to teach children about animal cruelty and neglect, and the importance of conserving the environment.
Meanwhile, investigators at the Humane Society said they are still actively looking for the suspect responsible for the cruel flying tortoise prank. Investigator Randall Lawrence said officials have gathered substantial evidence and are following several leads.
Anyone with information on Thomas’ balloon prank or any other case of animal cruelty or neglect is urged to call (619) 243-3466.