Facebook finds missing turtle

Facebook finds missing turtle

On April 25, at the Seasah-story on Miyako Island, Tobio was able to be taken home thanks to the network of people on Facebook.


April 30, 2012 Yugo Okita of Ryukyu Shimpo

Facebook, a social networking service, helped to solve a case in which a tortoise climbed through a fence and became lost.

The tortoise that went missing was Tobio, a female African spurred tortoise belonging to Kyuma Yasui, who works for Seasah-story, a pottery studio on Miyako Island. Her slow movement and reassuring figure is popular with children and tourists who visit the shop.

In the morning of April 7, Yasui put the tortoise out on the lawn near the studio while he cleaned the inside of the shop, but she got through the wire fence and escaped. Tobio has done this several times in the past, but her slow movements have usually meant that she has soon been tracked down near the shop.

However, on this occasion, Satoshi Ikema, who was passing by at around 11:00am, found Tobio on the sidewalk. There was no one around and he didn’t know who the owner was, so he picked her up to protect her from the passing traffic. Ikema posted on his Facebook immediately that “I’m looking after a stray tortoise.”

By this stage Yasui had noticed that Tobio had disappeared and had started to look for her. He reported his loss to the police and had moved to advertise in the local newspaper to find the tortoise. He also asked on Facebook but he “did not really have great expectations of finding her.”

After Yasui posted the comment, his friend also stated that “A friend of mine is looking for his missing tortoise,” on Facebook. Another person who saw the message knew that this was the same tortoise that Ikema was now looking after. Yasui was then able to find Tobio about an hour after Ikema picked her up, and was reunited with her just three hours later.

Yasui said, “I was relieved when she came back safely. Facebook is marvelous. I’m very happy that I joined it.”

(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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