BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Tutti, a 10-year-old African Sulcata tortoise, has found a forever home at Camp Lingua in Broward County.
Local 10 News anchor Eric Yutzy and his family have watched Tutti, also known as Tutti Frutti, grow for about a year in their backyard in Pembroke Pines.
Tutti is 60 pounds and can go on to live for 165 more years, but needs more space to live free.
On Tuesday morning, the Yutzy’s announced the happy ending to this tortoise tale.
Tutti has found a new home in Camp Lingua and, according to Yutzy, Local 10 News viewers helped make it happen.
Local 10 News followed the Yutzy’s around as they showed Tutti’s new digs and were seen riding a tractor over to a local farm fit for a king.
Tutti has quite the fan base as many children were also seen chanting his name and welcoming him as soon as he arrived.
Many kids enjoyed feeding Tutti romaine lettuce, which is his favorite snack.
First grader Sage Kaplan told Local 10 News that the tortoise was his favorite animal at the farm.
“I like that they like the same foods as me,” he said.
Second grader Emma Perez said that she’s happy Tutti has found a loving home.
“I’m really excited for him to be here because I feel like this will be a good home for him with a bunch of animals and kids so he can have love,” said Perez.
Tutti will have his own nameplate above his very own namesake tortoise house.
“It’s amazing,” said Elias Yutzy. “It’s so fun to see Tutti with his new home!”
The goodbye was much more sweet than bitter for the Yutzy kids as Maya Yutzy was seen petting Tutti with all the other kids.
“I’m sad that he has to go but I know this is going to be better for him because there is a bigger space, more people and it’s probably going to be a lot more fun and the guy said we can visit whenever we want,” Maya said.
Eric Yutzy says the key in the decision-making process when it came to re-homing Tutti was that the kids still really wanted to see their buddy grow up.
Yutzy said he received 3-4 dozen emails from interested viewers ready to take Tutti.
“It was tough because everybody has a story, everybody has a passion, everybody has an interest in helping,” he said. “We wanted to find people who had animals around, kids around, educational opportunity and obviously a place that had space.”
The Yutzy’s believe Camp Lingua is just that.
Camp Lingua is a school and a camp with human and animal munchkins always around.
The Yutzy’s were seen giving their goodbyes to Tutti and thanking all the Local 10 viewers for making the homecoming happen.
Local 10 News’ next visit will show how Camp Lingua uses animals to teach and educate their school students and camp kids too.
That story will be coming up in the weeks ahead before spring/summer break on Local 10 News and right here on Local10.com.