Missing Duke City tortoise Diablo turns up - Albuquerque Journal

Missing Duke City tortoise Diablo turns up

Diablo, who went missing from Manzano del Sol Village, was found and returned to his home on Friday. (Courtesy Manzano del Sol Village)

You can take roving reptile Diablo off the Duke City’s missing tortoises list.

On Friday, the 115-year-old desert tortoise who disappeared from Manzano del Sol Village was returned to his garden at the senior living community where he and his mate, 91-year-old Delilah, live. He was gone for exactly a week.

Word that the tortoise had gone missing rocked the tenants at the Manzano facility, and the story appeared on the front page of Thursday’s Journal.

“My knees went weak when I saw him,” Millie Tjeltweed, pictured holding a photo of Diablo the no-longer-missing tortoise, said about the reptile’s return. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

It turns out, Diablo had taken up residence in the backyard of a nearby home after a family bought the shell-wearing wanderer from some kids at a local park, said Millie Tjeltweed, who owns Diablo and Delilah.

The going rate for a desert tortoise? Apparently 50 cents a pound, or $5 for 10-pound Diablo.

Tjeltweed doesn’t know the circumstances of Diablo’s disappearance, but she said his homecoming drew quite a crowd to the garden.

“He was very happy to see Delilah,” she said.

Tjeltweed said the family that purchased Diablo called the senior living community after seeing a news report on the tortoise’s disappearance. Tjeltweed and some administrators from the facility near Lomas and San Mateo went over to the home, and Tjeltweed was able to verify that it was her pet of 35 years.

“We went over there and sure enough, there was Diablo,” Millie said. “My knees went weak when I saw him.”

She said she had been worried she wasn’t going to see him again.

“He’s been gone for a week and we were losing hope of getting him back,” she said.

Home » News » Albuquerque News » Missing Duke City tortoise Diablo turns up


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
APS' continuing issues with HVAC cause health concerns
ABQnews Seeker
District says it has 385 open ... District says it has 385 open work orders related to air-conditioning
2
NM reporter's rally ejection ignites controversy over press access
ABQnews Seeker
Ronchetti campaign claims journalist's publication is ... Ronchetti campaign claims journalist's publication is a left-wing advocacy company
3
Nonprofit helping vets expands to a new location
ABQnews Seeker
Heroes Walk Among Us aims to ... Heroes Walk Among Us aims to get veterans back on their feet
4
Former nonprofit treasurer pleads guilty to embezzlement
ABQnews Seeker
Michelle Luna sentenced to probation, ordered ... Michelle Luna sentenced to probation, ordered to pay restitution to West Central Community Development Group
5
Navajo Nation Council spokesman arrested after relative hurt
ABQnews Seeker
The communications director for the Navajo ... The communications director for the Navajo Nation Council has been arrested for allegedly injuring a relative at his Gallup home, the Gallup Independent reported. ...
6
BlueHalo opens new manufacturing facility in ABQ
ABQnews Seeker
State-of-the-art space will focus on directed ... State-of-the-art space will focus on directed energy and space technology
7
Forest Service reseeding burn scar
ABQnews Seeker
More than 180,000 acres have suffered ... More than 180,000 acres have suffered damage
8
Santa Fe lawyer ordered to appear in Georgia probe
ABQnews Seeker
John Eastman subpoenaed by grand jury ... John Eastman subpoenaed by grand jury investigating 2020 election interference
9
Lawmakers turn budget focus to preventing child abuse
ABQnews Seeker
Fewer children in New Mexico are ... Fewer children in New Mexico are receiving services