Spartanburg Science Center Looking For Its Missing Sulcata Tortoise

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Spartanburg Science Center Looking For Its Missing Sulcata Tortoise

Imhotep is an important part of the center's educational programming.

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Imhotep, a 25-pound sulcata tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata) that is a star with children at the Spartanburg Science Center in Spartanburg, South Carolina, has escaped his handler’s yard this morning and is on the loose in the town.

Posted by Spartanburg Science Center on Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Peter Lembcke, the center’s director of educational programming at the center told that because Imhotep is such a large tortoise, he often brings the tortoise home so he can roam in a larger outdoor setting,  Lembcke’s yard. But this time, Imhotep escaped.


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“It didn’t completely surprise me, because he’s pulled this stuff before where I’ve looked for him for an hour-and-a-half,” Lembcke told “I saw a damaged section of fence, but there was a whole lot of tracks through my backyard. He’s real low to the ground, and he’ll basically push aside anything that he comes across — in this case my fence.”

The tortoise hasn’t been missing for too long and hopefully someone has spotted him in the town.

“He’s very friendly,” Lembcke said. “If you see strange paths in medium-length or taller grass — the path will be around 9 inches wide — please let me know.”

If you see the big tortoise, call the Spartanburg Science Center at 864-583-2777.