Giant tortoise, missing 1 year, reunited with AZ family - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

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Giant tortoise, missing 1 year, reunited with AZ family

Samson wandered from his home before he was reunited with his family after a chip in his leg was detected. (Source: CBS 5 News) Samson wandered from his home before he was reunited with his family after a chip in his leg was detected. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Owner Mary Plumb said Samson wandered for six months before someone found him about 30 miles away, in a field in Hidden Valley. (Source: CBS 5 News) Owner Mary Plumb said Samson wandered for six months before someone found him about 30 miles away, in a field in Hidden Valley. (Source: CBS 5 News)
CASA GRANDE, AZ (CBS5) -

A giant tortoise that went missing for an entire year has been reunited with its family in Casa Grande.

"Somebody who took care of the animals in the yard left a gate open," explained its owner Mary Plumb.

Samson, a nearly 100-pound Sulcata tortoise, escaped from Mary and George Plumb's two-acre yard in November of 2012.

"We live close to farm land," said Mary Plumb. "So, he found some alfalfa field close by, enjoyed it and then decided to go and find something else."

She said Samson wandered for six months before someone found him about 30 miles away, in a field in Hidden Valley.

Samson spent another six months in a foster home in Maricopa before an online posting, and a microchip in the 18-year-old tortoise's leg, led to his return.

"I didn't know if he was alive still or anything," said 13-year-old Charles Plumb about his beloved pet. "But, I hoped he was. So, I'm glad he is."

Once Samson was home, his family couldn't wait to spoil him.

"When I saw him in person, I instantly went and got him a treat," said Mary Plumb. "I had to get him his favorite. He loves apples."

Samson is back to spending his days with his brother Goliath and a menagerie of other animals on the Plumb family farm.

In addition to 18 Sulcata tortoises, they're raising 36 peacocks, 20 guineafowl, six chickens, and an alpaca.

They have pet snakes and tarantulas too.

But, it's the tortoises, including the adventurous Samson, that are so very dear to the Plumb family, because these reptiles can live more than 100 years.

"We plan on hopefully being able to will them to our grandchildren someday and being able to continue that as a heritage within our family, because we've enjoyed them so much," said Mary Plumb.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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