Derek Gill was devastated to learn that taking his eye of his beloved pet in their new backyard for just a few minutes, she had escaped and was missing according to reporting by the  It’s not every day you hear of a missing tortoise, I mean, I grew up in the city, I don’t even know the difference between a turtle and a tortoise.  Is there a difference?  Is it like breeds of dogs?  I do know of the incredible bond we can form with our pets, be they dog, cat or tortoise so I can feel the panic and the pain when Derek Gill speaks of his beloved Danali gone missing.


Derek Gill and Stephanie Catanzaro had just moved to Suissevale on June 24th from Massachusetts and were meeting new neighbors when the escape happened.  Danali is an African spurred tortoise that Derek has raised since she was just the size of a quarter.  This breed of tortoise can live for more than 70 years and grow up to 200 pounds.  Danali is 20 years old and still has a lot of life to live.  She is about the size of the average car steering wheel.  The couple put up flyers to help find her.  Denali has been spotted by neighbors who did not know she was someone’s pet.


Happily, word got out and Danali has been found are reunited with her pet mom and dad.  Derek is thinking of outfitting her with a GPS tracker in case she ever wonders off again. reports that Derek has said “It’s nothing out of the ordinary.  Some people have dogs and cates, we chose to have turtles.”  He also tells “Thank you to everyone in Suissevale.  I’m happy to live here, I’m the happiest person in the world.”




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