David Beckham

David Beckham, a box turtle, is one of four animals still missing after 11 were stolen from the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo. Another box turtle and two gopher tortoises are also still missing. 

David Beckham can soon go back to eating hard boiled eggs in his exhibit after he went missing three months ago.

The box turtle was found by a mother and daughter on Northwest 83rd Street when he was walking across the road. The pair recognized him as one of Santa Fe Teaching Zoo’s missing animals because of the holes in his shell from veterinary procedures.

On May 23, two gopher tortoises and two box turtles were stolen from the Santa Fe Teaching Zoo, according to Alligator archives. Seven more animals were stolen May 30, including three box turtles, two red-foot tortoises, a skink and a squirrel monkey. In June, seven of the 11 animals were found.

Although most of the stolen animals were returned, the zoo was unsure if more creatures would be found, said Charlee Strunk, a Santa Fe Teaching Zoo student.

“I was a little shocked and very excited,” Strunk said when she heard about David Beckham’s whereabouts.

The box turtle is currently quarantined for internal and external check-ups, but he should return to his exhibit in October, she said. He has been doing well since his arrival.

The zoo is still missing one other box turtle and and two gopher tortoises, said Jade Salamone, an education specialist at Santa Fe Teaching Zoo Conservation.

“The only reason we’ve gotten any of our animals back has been from community support,” Salamone said.

 Contact Dana Cassidy at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @danacassidy_

Dana Cassidy is an 18-year-old UF journalism freshman and city commission beat writer at The Independent Florida Alligator. Outside of writing she loves fitness, dance, overweight pets, bad reality TV and drinking excessive amounts of coffee.