Tank, The Missing Tortoise, Escaped Through Owner's Open Gate

Tank the tortoise and his owner Zak Kiesel have been reunited in Poway. “He got out late Friday night and just kept walking until he got in one of our neighbor's yards,” the high school senior told NBC 7 Sunday.

His family just moved into a new house and are doing some construction. A gate was left open and Tank escaped. 

Zak's mother watched the story of the missing tortoise on TV Saturday night and recognized him. "My wife saw the story and shows it to me and I look at it and am like 'wow, that looks just like him,'" Jeff Kiesel, Zak's father said. 

On Saturday, one of the Kiesel's neighbors called Mayor Steve Vaus about Tank roaming around their backyard. 

The mayor picked up the lost pet and placed him temporarily at Lisa Ricky's home. She has chickens, goats, pigs, horses and even a couple turtles of her own. Vaus then began posting photos of Tank on Twitter hoping someone would recognize the large reptile. 


It turns out E.T., as he was called by the mayor for Escaped Tortoise, is actually named Tank. 

"We call him Tank because he's going to go wherever he wants. You're not going to stop him. Breaks sprinklers, breaks through things, ruins bushes," Jeff Kiesel said. 

Jeff said he's not surprised Tank gave them the slip. 

Steve Vaus

"He's slow, but he's actually pretty quick," he said. "It would surprise you. [You] hear tortoise and you think slow. But if you're not paying attention, he starts walking and all of a sudden you're like where is he?"

Since Zak will be leaving for college soon he made a difficult decision Sunday - Tank will stay with Lisa Ricky. 

"I think I might miss him because I've had him so long and he's my oldest pet," Zak confessed. "But if he has a better home here, that would make me happy."

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