Mauricio’s Return

You may remember Mauricio, the tortoise who was part of our rehabilitation and release program. When he was brought to us, he was in pretty good shape after someone decided to keep him as a pet. Sadly, he had an “M” carved into his shell by some unknown person. Mauricio wasn’t used to existing on his own and having to sustain himself off the land. He was housed in one of the rehab yards for several months, learning the behaviors he’d need to survive in the wild. Once he was released, we saw him occasionally; he’d pop up here and there, we’d give him a little bit of fruits and vegetables, and he’d move along. 

This week he popped in again after not seeing him for about 6 months. We saw him out of the corner of our eye, drinking water from an overflow. We gave him some fresh water to make sure he was nice and hydrated, a slice of watermelon, and a couple pieces of apple. After his snack, he went on his way. 

One of the difficult parts of working with wildlife in a release capacity is that often you don’t know if they’re okay on their return to the wild; that’s the reality of the work. We might see deer on the property, but will never know if that’s one we’ve worked with. The female tapirs stop by during the dry season for fallen mangoes and to drink from one of the water dishes, but we don’t see the males come through. You just have to hope that everyone is okay and thriving. So, we were happy to see Mauricio make his way through the sanctuary on his way to wherever he wanted to go. 

P.S.: This video has great sound effects. Much like with elephants and melons, hearing a tortoise crunch on an apple is incredibly satisfying.


  1. REPLY
    Charlotte Hansen says

    Good to see the big fellow! I’m also going to enjoy some apple-munching–he made me want one!

  2. REPLY
    Lynne Russert says

    Love it! I have 3 redfoots myself!!!

  3. REPLY
    Tammy says

    He’s such a handsome guy and just lovin those treats! I wish him sunshine and happy trails a very free peaceful long amazing life with his family and hope he comes back real soon to say hey to you all 😊💞

  4. REPLY
    Carey says

    I bet it was great to see him again and know he was doing well, nice for me to see him too, chomping on that apple! Very dinosaur looking I always think. Do they hibernate there? Ie through the dry season?

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      honestly, i’m not sure. he looks good and feels heavy.

  5. REPLY
    Alana says

    One hansom fellow!

  6. REPLY
    Alejandra Enquin says

    Emociona ver a Mauricio tan bien verlo libre en una visita corta que aprovecho para saludar, dar fe de vida y seguro ,conociendolos a ustedes, sabia que algo rico le iban a dar 🙏❤️y cuesta verlo partir pero mas alegra saber lo feliz que se siente en la vida salvaje.

  7. REPLY
    Pierrette Walraevens says

    Happy to see him back nd doing well 👍 Love to hear de sound Mauricio makes when eating the appel Beautiful Stay Safe Gorgeous Sweet Boy Mauricio ❤️🥰🐢🍏🥰❤️

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