UPDATE: Reward Offered for Stolen Tortoise's Return


A Denver man has offered a $700 reward for the return of Butti, a 13-year-old tortoise, stolen from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. The Indian star tortoise was stolen on Sunday, March 27.

The zoo says the staff last saw Butti in his exhibit in The Loft around 4:30 p.m. When Butti’s keeper went back to check on him at 4:45 p.m., he was missing.

The donor of the reward, who wants to be anonymous, said he’s never visited Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, but saw recent news coverage of Butti’s disappearance and wanted to help. He put up $500 himself, and got friends to donate the rest.

He cited his love of animals for why he took action. “I hope the reward will motivate the person who took Butti to come forward,” he said.

Zoo officials are appreciative. Katie Borremans, Public Relations Manager at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, said, "for someone to see the story and come forward with an offer like this is really touching.”

In detailing the circumstances of Butti's disappearance, the zoo tells 11 News that there were several guests in The Loft shortly before the tortoise disappeared.

Below is a news release the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo sent to KKTV 11 News.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is concerned for Butti’s welfare, as he has special care and dietary needs. If he isn’t kept at the proper temperature and doesn’t receive the right type of food, he could suffer from significant health problems.

“This type of tortoise is not uncommon in the pet trade. We think someone probably thought the tortoise looked interesting and is planning to keep him as a pet, but we’re worried Butti won’t receive proper care,” said Katie Borremans, Public Relations Manager.

Butti and his brother, Tutti, are guest favorites at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. They have been together their whole lives and are frequently seen following each other around their exhibit. The zoo did file a police report, but is most concerned about Butti’s return. Charges will not be filed if he is returned safely. Please call 719.633.9925 x140 with any information on this incident.

The Loft has seen more than one million visitors since it opened in 2008, and has never had an animal stolen. The Loft is a place where guests can interact and connect with animals in a more open environment. Guests are able to see animals like Butti up close and even touch them under staff supervision.

“Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s mission is to provide up close experiences and make animals accessible to the public. It’s a shame someone took advantage of that. We’ve never had something like this happen before, and we certainly don’t want to penalize guests who respect the boundaries because of one bad seed,” said Borremans.

Butti is around the size of a grapefruit. He’s about six inches long and weighs a little over a pound. He has a unique shell with a bumpy star pattern.

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  • by mike Location: az on Apr 1, 2011 at 10:46 AM
    its spelled prey dummy
  • by BillinCSprings Location: Colorado Springs on Mar 31, 2011 at 10:52 AM
    I happen to know who this guy is personally - I've known him for years. It is his desire to remain anonymous. Trust me, he is a good man with a good heart. He just happens to have a thing for rescuing turtles.
  • by Purple Rain on Mar 31, 2011 at 07:11 AM
    ...so someone is going to turn the tortoise in then promptly get arrested for theft? Sounds like a win-win situation right there.
    • reply
      by Troy on Mar 31, 2011 at 09:16 AM in reply to Purple Rain
      ...and the penalty imposed on the thief will be a slap on the wrist: Community service and a $700 fine...
  • by Anonymous on Mar 31, 2011 at 06:53 AM
    Anon you are not very smart! There is a good chance this reward will work if this turtle was taken by someone who wants to sell him for money, or thought he would make a good pet for them! Most missing children cases are about something else all together! And, you think if someone loves animals they don't love children?? It is the responsibility of all decent human beings to protect those that cannot protect themselves-that includes children, animals, elderly, handicapped-whatever! I have a lot of respect for the person offering the reward! How can you turn that around into something bad?
    • reply
      by Genevieve on Apr 1, 2011 at 08:29 PM in reply to
      I agree! Most missing children cases are runaway cases. Butti did not just get up and walk out by himself. He was stolen. That makes a big difference.
  • by brown's fan Location: cleveland on Mar 31, 2011 at 05:13 AM
    a whole buch of judgement here
  • by anon Location: d town on Mar 31, 2011 at 05:10 AM
    this reward guy is from another planet, did ya hear of any rewards for missing children lately? once again the lower animal world has more consideration than humanity
    • reply
      by Michelle on Mar 31, 2011 at 12:28 PM in reply to anon
      At this point, that may not be a bad thing......
  • by acme pie co Location: 10th St on Mar 31, 2011 at 05:08 AM
    lotsa humor here, did you consult with local wildlife predators, i bet it was lunch for some hungry animal bigger than he
  • by Jordan on Mar 30, 2011 at 10:41 AM
    I found Butti on twitter! @COZooTortoise
  • by matt Location: VA on Mar 30, 2011 at 09:11 AM
    Last seen chasing a cobra in the Bronx exclaiming, I took out the rabbit in the last race, you're easy pray!!
  • by D.1 on Mar 29, 2011 at 08:31 PM
    Wow I find it funny how most bloggers on kktv.com think that the person is going to read what you wrote.i think it was a little kid who didnt know better and the parents will find out and then tommarow everyone will be blogging about what terrible parents they are.
    • reply
      by mr x on Mar 29, 2011 at 10:56 PM in reply to D.1
      no doubt it's the freaking parents fault. i was taught you don't touch ot take anything unless you ask! but these days,,,what are parents for anyhow,, NOT MUCH!
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