Follow for more talkers


‘Houdini’ tortoise tries to escape so much he has to wear balloon outside

The frustrated owner claims she was fed up of frantically searching for the pet for hours - so decided to grab some ribbon and helium to make the unique balloon harness.

Avatar photo


(Screenshots via TikTok)

By Sophie Norris via SWNS

This "Houdini" tortoise is now forced to wear a bright yellow BALLOON when out in the garden - as hilarious footage shows how he repeatedly escapes and is even caught scaling FENCES.

Claudia Carter was left tearing her hair out at Russian tortoise Elmo's repeated attempts to make a run for it by either clambering over a fence or burrowing into the back yard.

But psychology student Claudia, who lets the "escapologist" reptile roam on her lawn in the hot weather, was suddenly struck by inspiration and decided to tie a balloon under his belly to make him easier to spot.

Unbelievable clips and photos show how Elmo has been caught clambering up a wire fence and even become stuck multiple feet in the air while trying to make his getaway.

Now she claims there's no way she could lose the three-year-old tortoise as the balloon harness means he's impossible to miss him against the green plants.

After the 20-year-old posted the video on social media, her clip attracted more than 82,000 views and more than 12,000 likes and comments from viewers.

Claudia, from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK, said: "He's like Houdini trying to escape.

@bruhpuppy Replying to @lesbian_dad42069 #balloon #turtle #tortoise #russiantortoise #horsfieldtortoise #smalltortoise #smileyface #bodyguard ♬ one kiss speed up - lyrics 🫶🏼

"We've lost him for hours in the past. We've been searching, cutting down hedges and digging.

"We had the idea to stick a balloon to him, we tied it around in a bow so he looked cute. The balloon makes sure he doesn't get lost.

"It makes us laugh because of how cute it is, it also puts it into perspective how little he is."

Frustrated Claudia claims she was fed up of frantically searching for the speedy pet for hours - so decided to grab some ribbon and helium to make the unique balloon harness.

Claudia said: "Elmo usually lives indoors and has his own area but when it's above 20 degrees he can go out in the garden. That's when he tries to escape.

"You can see throughout the clip that he's gone to the bottom of the garden and he's climbing on the rocks. He goes in there and digs down.

"His breed digs down to sleep, we worry he'll bury himself alive. If he gets out at night, we worry if it's too cold or how he'll eat.

"We've got chicken wire in his area of the garden. The outside area is big but sometimes we put him in the garden so he can run around wherever he wants.

"He always makes a beeline for under the trees because he wants to dig down.

"In the past, we've lost him for about four hours. People say tortoises are slow but they've never met Elmo - he's speedy.

"I thought we needed to stick something on him or he'll just get lost. I decided to blow up the balloon and tied it under his belly.

"We used helium from birthday parties in the past then my mum was like 'I've got a tiny bit of ribbon'.

"There's no way we could lose him with that around him. With the balloon I don’t think he can run away as easily as he once could and at least if he does we can find him.

"When I posted the clip online, the reaction really surprised me."

Stories and infographics by ‘Talker Research’ are available to download & ready to use. Stories and videos by ‘Talker News’ are managed by SWNS. To license content for editorial or commercial use and to see the full scope of SWNS content, please email [email protected] or submit an inquiry via our contact form.

Top Talkers