NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Officers with the North Miami Beach Police Department found a tortoise on the loose and are hoping the owner comes forward.

The African spurred tortoise was found in the middle of the street, and the police department posted a tweet on Wednesday in hopes it can be reunited with it’s owner.

Wildlife expert Mickey Garces spotted the commotion around his truck.

Garces said, “I saw about four or five squad cars around my truck, and I’m thinking, ‘Oh, my God. What did I do?'”

Garces said the officers were not sure about what to do, so he said he took the time to educate them about the tortoise.

He said that decision may have saved the reptile’s life.

“They were gonna throw it in the Oleta River, which it would have sank like a stone and drowned, so I said, ‘Don’t do that,'” Garces said.

Garces took the tortoise in as a foster pet and said the reptile is likely someone’s pet that broke out.

“They found it on the street, so obviously, it’s someone’s pet that escaped because they’re very good at escaping,” Garces said. “They’re escape artists. They don’t go around things. They go through things.”

The tortoise was welcomed at its new temporary home and was fed delicious snacks, such as watermelon.

“I gave her some good diet, so hopefully that will help her,” Garces said. “It’s a nice little tortoise. It just needs a little tender love and care.”

Garces said he already has a tortoise, so the new addition will not be alone.

“I was concerned because they’re very territorial, so I wondered how they were going to interact, and so far, so good,” Garces said. “His first girlfriend that he’s had so yeah, very excited.”

Garces said he will care for the tortoise until he hears from the reptile’s owner.

If you notice your tortoise has gone missing, call Mickey Garces at 786-224-8984.

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