Back in the middle of September, an unfortunate event occurred in the grand town of Sauk City. This event caused us to lose an important member of society, someone who is even more important than Nicolas Cage: Plumpers the Turtle. This is his story.
Plumpers is an African Spur Thigh Tortoise. Native to the southern region of Africa, it would seem that Plumpers was a long way from home, but he was right where he belonged. He was given as a graduation gift in the summer of 2000 to Reid Maier. Maier’s parents believed that the turtle was an ordinary box turtle, but Plumpers was much more than that; he was a friend, a companion, and an African Spur Thigh Tortoise. For anyone who doesn’t already know their turtles and tortoises, the ASTT is the third largest tortoise in the world.
Life went on normally for Maier and Plumpers over the next few years. Plumpers grew up as all turtles do, and eventually was too large to fit inside conventional cages, but Reid loved him and continued to care for him. During September of this past year, Maier was giving Plumpers his weekly bath, and when maier walked away to get something from the house, Plumpers made his escape. When Maier returned, the pool in which he had been washing Plumpers was empty. “He’s never crawled out of anything,” Maier said, still in shock.
After days of searching, they found “Plumpers”... dead on a riverbank. After finding “Plumpers”, Maier thought it was all over. He was wrong. After an autopsy, they found that the turtle was not in fact Plumpers, but just an overgrown box turtle. The turtle was bloated and covered in scratch marks. Damage of this magnitude couldn’t have been an accident. It was a cold-blooded homicide.
After looking through all of the evidence multiple times, Maier concluded that the killer meant to kill Plumpers, but was mistaken, because Plumpers looks like a box turtle. “He’s still out there, waiting and watching...” said Reid. The search for Plumpers still continues. Another homicide is unacceptable and the killer must be stopped. If you have any information on the case, please contact Jenny at (608) 867-5309.
By Rydge Craker