Upon discovering the absence of his teenage African spurred tortoise on Aug. 28, Randal Caswell immediately sprung into action, posting a lost pet notice on The Pilot’s website and spreading the word on social media.
Two days later, the runaway tortoise — Princess Bowser — was spotted making her way through Carthage with the wind blowing through her shell and a line of cars riding her tail. Michael Howell was driving down Rockingham Street —about a quarter-mile away from where Princess Bowser escaped — when he saw a man herding a tortoise down the road.
“I yelled out, ‘Hey man, you should get your tortoise out of the road,’ to which he replied, ‘Naw, Bo. This here’s a snappin’ turtle and I’m not touchin’ him,’” Howell said. “I informed the guy that it was, in fact, a tortoise and probably someone’s pet.”
Howell’s wife then turned to Facebook, asking if anyone had lost their tortoise. The post connected Princess Bowser back to Caswell. She was soon reunited with her African spurred tortoise sister, Tortuga, at their Carthage home.
So, how does one lose a tortoise?
According to Caswell, Princess Bowser is just like the Super Mario video game character that inspired her name — not fast, but strong. Caswell has since repaired the chain link she “busted through,” but keep an eye out next time you’re near the courthouse just in case.