A mother and daughter driving in their car happened upon a box turtle wandering in and out of traffic last week in northwest Gainesville.
They pulled over to look at it, and then realized by markings on his shell from veterinary procedures that the turtle considerably famous, reported The Independent Florida Alligator.
According to NewsJax4, the reptile had been snatched from the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo and he was missed.
The turtle, affectionately named David Beckham after the soccer star, was one of several animals taken from the zoo over a two-week period in May. But he’s home and safe now, according to the zoo’s Facebook page.
“It’s a happy Friday indeed!” read the post with a picture of a woman holding the little green and yellow creature. “David was found by two individuals in the middle of a road. ... As they went to move him, they noticed he had holes on the underside of his shell. They contacted zoo staff who determined that he was one of the missing animals.”
Spokesman Jay Anderson said that eight creatures have already been recovered, though another box turtle and two gopher tortoises are still missing. And they have some medical issues, the school added.
In June, three men were arrested. in this case They face charges from burglary to attempting to deal in stolen merchandise.
Anyone who has information as to the reptiles’ whereabouts is encouraged to call the Sante Fe College Police Department at 352-395-5519.