A dog had to be rescued after giving in to his love of a hunt. Ruben, who loves to dig, chased a cat into a tortoise tunnel and couldn’t get out, Toby Passmore said.
“We could hear him barking inside the hole that my tortoise dug,” the Chandler resident said.
His 12-year-old African spurred tortoise, better known as Scully, is an infamous landscaper. Passmore described Scully as “a gigantic tank who likes to excavate my backyard.”
The tortoise, not native to Arizona, can reach more than 200 pounds in weight and 36 inches in length after about 20 years of growth, according to Reptiles magazine. They can live in captivity 70 years or more.
Once Ruben the dog went missing, Passmore knew exactly where to look. His pup was stuck deep in Scully’s tunnel so deep that Chandler city workers needed a backhoe to get him out.
“We finally got down to a place and put a camera in there and we could see he was down there with a cat,” Passmore said. “So I physically got into the hole and just crawled in there grabbed his leg and the fire department grabbed my ankles and pulled me and the dog out of the hole.”
Now they are all out of a tight spot, and the giant hole in his backyard is just a reminder you can’t teach an old tortoise new tricks.
“If that tortoise wants to dig, he is just going to dig.” Passmore said.