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DeKalb man reunited with family pet thanks to good Samaritan search

DeKALB ­ The owner of a 17-year-old African sulcata tortoise named Henry is thanking the support of his neighbors after Henry was found Saturday afternoon munching on some weeds in a soybean field next to River Heights golf course.

The family pet had been missing since Tuesday from the backyard of his owner, Jerry Seablom’s, 49.

Seablom said a fellow DeKalb man, Rick Shott, saw that Henry was lost in local news. Shott later used social media to find Seablom’s phone number and call him Friday night to say he would go out and search for the tortoise Saturday.

After searching Saturday morning, Shott found Henry in a soybean field close the golf course where the tortoise was last seen, at the corner of Fairview and Glidden roads.

“Henry is doing fine,” Seablom said. “No injuries. When I walked up, he was munching on some weeds.”

Seablom previously had expressed concern that chilly fall temperatures could spell danger for Henry outside. Seablom said he’s grateful to the public for all their help, especially Jeff Cameron, the DeKalb Park District’s golf maintenance superintendent.

Seablom said Henry went missing Tuesday after a friend accidentally left the back gate open in Seablom’s backyard, where Henry lives in the summer months.

“The thing is, that’s what they do, they walk in their natural environment,” Seablom said Thursday. “They just constantly walk. He can be pretty fast.”

As temperatures fall, Seablom usually keeps Henry inside his home, where the turtle lived with Seablom and his family for 17 years after Seablom adopted Henry, also known as an African spurred tortoise, as a hatchling from a specialty reptile shop in Wheaton.

A neighbor found Henry Tuesday in his backyard heading towards Annie Glidden Road, and called DeKalb Park District staff to ask whether they could be allowed to drop Henry off at River Heights golf course, thinking he was a wild reptile, said Jeff Cameron, the district’s golf maintenance superintendent.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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