Tortoise on the run again in Duluth

Keep your eyes peeled for "Flash" a 7-8 inch Rio Grande desert tortoise last seen in the East Hillside neighborhood of Duluth.

Flash, a pet Rio Grande desert tortoise, was found 9 miles from his home after escaping from his owner. (Photo courtesy of Meredith Saiki)
Flash, a pet Rio Grande desert tortoise, is missing again from his East Hillside residence on June 25. (File/News Tribune)

Well-known Duluth tortoise Flash is on the move again. The Rio Grande desert tortoise escaped from Barbara and Meredith Saiki's yard on June 25 and the family have been searching for him ever since.

Flash is known for his 12-day trek in 2018 when he traveled from his East Hillside home to Duluth Mayor Emily Larson's backyard and was eventually found 9 miles away in Riverside. He was safely returned to the Saikis.

This time Flash was enjoying the warm evening weather in Barbara's backyard, chomping on some flowers when he was last seen, around 7 p.m. June 25. Those keeping an eye out for him should look for a textured, dry shell and non-webbed feet to help distinguish Flash from local turtles. Being a tortoise, he cannot be put in water.

The Thilges family who found the tortoise in 2018 said he caught their eye because he "wasn't afraid of people at all and was clearly not a species found in Minnesota."

Those with information about Flash should call Barbara Saiki at 612-323-5555.

Teri Cadeau is a general assignment and neighborhood reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. Originally from the Iron Range, Cadeau has worked for several community newspapers in the Duluth area for eight years including: The Duluth Budgeteer News, Western Weekly, Weekly Observer, Lake County News-Chronicle and occasionally, the Cloquet Pine Journal. When not working, she's an avid reader and crafter.
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