Neighbor stories Pets of Nextdoor

Meet George, Rio Vista’s local celebrity tortoise

Written by Nick Brinkerhoff

What would you do if a giant tortoise showed up in your backyard out of nowhere? Sounds like an unlikely scenario, but this was a reality that a Rio Vista, CA resident recently faced.

One afternoon, Nextdoor user Mary was in her backyard when she noticed a large tortoise hanging out in her backyard. Unsure of what to do, she posted on Nextdoor, to see if the tortoise belonged to anyone in the neighborhood. To her surprise, Mary received an overwhelming response from her neighbors, many of whom were familiar with the tortoise and had seen him around the neighborhood for some time. Mary quickly learned that George (as the neighbors affectionately named him) is believed to be wild and the residents have decided to let him be.

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George, the Rio Vista neighborhood celebrity (photo by Mary)

George has since been deemed the neighborhood celebrity pet. His distinguishable look– large (about 10 inches around), with red, gold, green and yellow markings, and a beige shell with gold markings — has helped the community keep track of him as he mosies through the neighborhood. Most days he can be found in a nearby pond, and will even lift his head up in the water when he hears Mary’s voice. George has brought so much joy to this Rio Vista community – it just goes to show that you never know what can bring a community together!


  • George, is like our ”Trilogy” Mascot, for sure. 😀 He is such a gentle soul. We will all keep an eye out for George…I check everyday, at the lake and in my backyard. My neighbors do as well! I have to say, I’ve never seen a large tortoise like George, before, in my life! He comes to me, when I call him! Thank you so much, again, Nick for sharing my story, and caring about George, and It was wonderful to have the community so interested and involved in George’s welfare. We should treat all animals with love and respect, for they need us, and they make our world revolve and make us happy.

    Mary Thomas

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