Tortoise likely attempting additional escape

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photo by Layla McCarth | Two-year-old Harper feeds the 60 pound Zeus. Zeus drew lots of attention as he wandered the streets of Kremmling earlier in July.
photo by Layla McCarth | Two-year-old Harper feeds the 60 pound Zeus. Zeus drew lots of attention as he wandered the streets of Kremmling earlier in July.

by Christy Parrott

No one’s a stranger in a small town, even when it comes to pets. Many dogs have made their way onto Kremmling’s Online Garage Sale Facebook site, yet it’s not often that an escaped reptile circulates the local confab (even on a slow news day). But, that’s exactly what happened when DJ Elthorp’s pet tortoise “Zeus” escaped.

Zeus has lived with his adopted family for over fifteen years. “I like reptiles,” Elthrop explains. “They’re fun.” Recently, Zeus discovered a hole in Elthrop’s fence and provided his owner and the town with a lot more fun than anyone had bargained for. Twice in one week, Zeus escaped from his yard through a hole in the fence and hit the town running, sort of. Soon, Zeus had everyone tracking him down, while the sheriff’s office, Elthrop’s employer, became flooded with calls as locals and tourists all noticed a large tortoise wandering the streets of Kremmling, notably stopping at the Subway restaurant (likely for the fresh salads). “I’ve never seen a tortoise that big, so I thought it was pretty cool,” Subway manager Gaby Castanon exclaims. “Sometime we get dogs, but never a tortoise.”

“That’s what Zeus does, eats and forages and looks for a way to escape,” Elthrop laughs. As summer winds down, Zeus will be spending his time indoors, enjoying the specialized box Elthrop made just for him, but until then, everyone might need to yield to Kremmling’s slowest escape artist. “If he gets loose again, just call dispatch,” Elthrop asks.

“There’s a two-and-a-half year old named Harper that just loves him.”