Family searching for missing tortoise in Giles County

He was last seen Monday at 3 p.m. on Zells Mill Road

A Giles County family is searching for Magellan, an African Sulcata tortoise. (Courtesy of: Ava Pope) (WSLS)

GILES COUNTY, Va. – A Giles County family is searching for their lost tortoise, Magellan.

Magellan is an 82-pound African Sulcata tortoise, last seen Monday at 3 p.m. grazing in a field near their home on Zells Mill Road in Newport.

The family says Magellan enjoys sunny spaces to bask and eat grass when the sun is out and enjoys bushes, shrubs, rocks, and sheds when the sun sets.

They say his species is known to wander off in search of food, and are also known to burrow. Magellan cannot swim so he is unlikely to be in a creek or pond.

Based on the cooler temperatures, the family expects him to be no further than three miles away from their home.

The family says they have spent over 80 hours searching for him so far, and hope to find him soon.

Magellan’s family is offering a $500 reward for his return. To report information on his whereabouts, contact the family by phone at 540-626-3386 or by text at 512-557-1964.

About the Author:

Lauren Helkowski joined WSLS 10’s digital team in August 2022, but has held a passion for storytelling long before.