Runaway 150-pound tortoise nabbed after short ‘chase’

Posted at 9:58 AM, Aug 04, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-04 09:58:12-04

(CNN) – “Slow and steady wins the race” may be the moral of a children’s tale, but the adage didn’t hold up over the weekend in the case of Dirk the tortoise vs. California police.

The 150-pound tortoise decided to make a break for it in Alhambra, California, on Saturday. But he was no match for local police, who found the creature wandering the streets east of Los Angeles.

“Almost had a pursuit!” the Alhambra Police Department wrote on its Facebook page. “It took two officers to take this guy into custody,” they explained – because of the creature’s weight. Handcuffs, they joked, weren’t an option.

In short order, police say, Dirk was reunited with his family.

Locals chimed in on Facebook, most celebrating Dirk’s safe return. One woman claimed she saw the tortoise while he was on the lam “eating grass and leaves and moving at a fast clip.”

Others made Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle jokes. But the Alhambra Police Department shut those down, writing that Dirk “did not respond to ‘Michelangelo,’ ‘Leonardo,’ ‘Raphael,’ or ‘Donatello.'”

It’s not the first time the police department has taken a walk on the wild side. The department encountered a man riding his horse through town on July 30. And on August 1, officers stopped another man who went for an evening jog in the nude. When officers asked the naked man what he was doing, they say, he told them he’d taken a pill and “decided to go for a run.”

Alhambra Police did not speculate whether drugs played a role in Dirk’s decision to lead them on a low-speed chase.