Tortoise sent back home

A tortoise that Alberta SPCA officials seized from the Guzoo last week has been given a clean bill of health and returned.

Devon the tortoise is back at Guzoo.

Devon the tortoise is back at Guzoo.

A tortoise that Alberta SPCA officials seized from the Guzoo last week has been given a clean bill of health and returned.

Facility owner Lynn Gustafson said on Thursday after the animal was returned that the Alberta SPCA took it to the Calgary Zoo for a veterinarian’s examination in response to complaints that it was in distress.

The tortoise was a surrendered pet, first brought to the Guzoo about a year and a half ago. The SPCA seized the animal in response to recent complaints that it was in distress after noticing a condition called pyramiding on its shell, said Gustafson.

The condition is caused by a calcium imbalance in the animal’s diet and is irreversible once it occurs, he said.

Gustafson’s veterinarian had noted the condition after examining the animal in March and provided a written report on its condition, said Gustafson.

The Calgary Zoo veterinarian has confirmed the condition and said that it is in good health, he said. Gustafson said he has copies of both reports but declined to provide them to the Advocate.

SPCA officials could not be reached for comment.

Dave Ealey, issues manager for Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, confirmed on Wednesday that the animal was seized because there were concerns about its condition. The irregularities in its shell could have been present when the animal was brought to the Guzoo, said Ealey.

The Guzoo remains open to visitors after the province ordered it decommissioned on June 1 in response to a review by the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

The order has been stayed pending a judicial inquiry set for January.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com

— copyright Red Deer Advocate