Earlier this morning one of the original 11 Galapagos turtles that escaped an Ecuadorian nature preserve in 2020 was identified traveling eastward in the southern United States. Geoforce, an asset tracking company, had humanely affixed a GT1 Global Asset Tracker to the shell of each animal, and one (#8, “Phyllis”) appeared in their Track and Trace application, complete with GPS location. This is the first in a series of breaking reports to keep readers informed on what Geoforce and local media can determine.
Probably NOT Mark Twain once said, “History Doesn’t Repeat Itself, But It Does Rhyme.”
In 2020, eleven Galapagos turtles consumed a case of Red Bull energy drinks and escaped from a nature preserve near Ecuador. Caretakers quickly remembered that Geoforce had humanely affixed their GT1 Global Asset Tracker to the shell of each animal, and begged for help. For that entire day, Geoforce monitored the turtles before focusing on recovering Turtle #11 (“Larry”) who was found passed out on a Melbourne beach in Australia. Locals referred to him as “a Legend,” and were sorry to see him go.
And now for 2021’s rhyming verse. Unsealed Arlington, TX DPS records now indicate that on February 18, during a crippling Dallas/Fort Worth snowstorm, Geoforce again picked up the trail of a Galapagos turtle, this time #8 (“Phyllis”). Her location coincided with an 11AM break-in at a closed Domino’s Pizza on West Randol Mill road.
Not an hour later Mission Arlington reported receiving scores of phone calls from homebound seniors with no power thanking them for the first warm food they’d had in days. Additionally, first responders at the nearby ATT Stadium vaccine supercenter discovered a much-needed delivery of Pfizer vaccines well ahead of schedule. This despite repeated text messages from the courier saying the vaccines would not arrive on time and would have to be scrapped. Nearby, “Sign Dak” was crudely scrawled into the snow in thick, wide letters.
This allegedly occurred as Dallas/Fort Worth was experiencing 5℉ temperatures with a -3℉ windchill, all under a debilitating 2 inches of snow, and in some places, ice. 4×4 trucks and Jeeps littered medians and ditches mere yards from their owners’ homes as drivers learned a Texas maxim only experience teaches: “four-wheel-drive ain’t four-wheel-stop.”
Desperate to investigate the break-in/distribution of stolen goods, Arlington law enforcement assembled an ad-hoc dog team pulling a Santa Claus sleigh commandeered from the Salvation Army on Abram Street. But while the pitbulls and rottweilers caught “a distinctly unique” scent, they were no match for their quarry’s pace. All exasperated officers could do was follow round footprints in the snow, mile after mile. That, and question multiple witnesses, each with a highly doubtful story.
“The turtle? Oh, yeah, she was here,” said Clara Meeks, 81, retired. “Sweetest little thing. Didn’t talk much, but then we were too busy stuffing our faces. Good thing she brought so much. How she knew I liked Feta cheese I’ll never know. Anyway, we said our goodbyes and she was off like a shot. Wouldn’t hear of a tip.”
Authorities let Mrs. Meeks off with a warning.
Domino’s will neither confirm nor deny the presence of a pro-bono outreach program to snowbound seniors, but did say they’re less interested in pressing charges and more interested in an employment offer, “as long as she’s not a teenage turtle. Those guys ate us out of house and home.”
Arlington Police Chief Johnston Brice declined to comment, other than to say animals are not licensed to serve food in Arlington without a permit, and the rate of deliveries “indicates a vast network of accomplices or serious speeding. Either way, we’ll get our man. This ain’t Pantego.”