Rare tortoise missing from Colorado Springs zoo

Published 7:22 am Thursday, March 31, 2011

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A rare tortoise has disappeared from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs and authorities think he may have been stolen.

Zookeepers say they last saw 13-year-old Butti (BOO’-tee) on Monday afternoon in The Loft, a hands-on exhibit where visitors can handle Butti and his brother Tutti.

Officials say someone might have walked off with the Indian Star tortoise — he’s the size of a grapefruit and weighs about a pound.

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The Colorado Springs Gazette reported Tuesday that zookeepers are most concerned about Butti’s health because he requires a special diet of certain vegetables.

Indian Star tortoises typically live 10 to 15 years.

Butti has a history of upper respiratory infections. Without his caretakers, he might develop gastrointestinal problems, osteoporosis or kidney failure.