Watermelon is one food tortoises cannot resist.
The San Bernardino County Fire Department found themselves in a bit of a pickle when trying to rescue two 5-month-old puppies stuck in a tortoise’s den. But they were able to save the dogs using a bit of ingenuity and taking advantage of a tortoise's love of watermelon.
The firefighters were called out to a home in Yucca Valley where two puppies, Peo and Finn, had crawled deep inside a tortoise’s den. But when the den’s owner, Oscar, a 100-pound African Sulcatta tortoise, came home, the puppies were stuck inside without food or water.
Realizing the den was too deep for them to crawl into to retrieve the tortoise and that digging might cause it to collapse and hurt the animals, they tried to lure the tortoise out with a big, juicy piece of watermelon on a stick.
Tortoises absolutely love watermelon.
The watermelon enticed Oscar, and as he lurched forward, the firefighters pulled the watermelon back, trying to lure him out of the den. But Oscar stopped a few feet short of exiting his home.
"The tasty watermelon trick was unsuccessful, and firefighters went to plan B, digging,” the San Bernardino County Fire Department said according to Newsweek. After digging up the few last feet of the den, the firefighters were able to pull Oscar out of his home, and Finn and Peo came running out. They were covered in dirt but safe.
"We are glad we could assist with this unique call, and there was such a positive outcome!" the police on the scene said according to Newsweek.