Zach Morris the sulcata tortoise was roaming White Rock Lake: Photo from Dallas Animal Services/Facebook

Zack Morris the sulcata tortoise was roaming White Rock Lake: Photo from Dallas Animal Services/Facebook

Lake goers at White Rock this weekend happened upon this large tortoise as he slowly but determinedly made his way toward the shore.

The type of tortoise, a sulcata, is not native to these parts, but rather to Africa, so he ostensibly was a runaway or abandoned pet. (Thankfully it turned out to be the former).

Dallas Animal Services picked him up and posted his photo on social media. People shared; within hours Kimberly Jones, who is new to the area, let concerned commenters know that she owns the roving reptile, who is named for a 90s TV show character, and that they had been reunited.

Tortoise Zach Morris and his canine siblings: Photo from Kimberly Jones via Facebook

A tuckered-out tortoise and his canine siblings: Photo from Kimberly Jones via Facebook

“Thanks for the comments and help, guys! Meet Zack Morris, our family turtle. We are the owners and appreciate everyone who helped locate him. We just moved into a new house and are in the process of building a better stronger fence, but he somehow managed to dig under the current one and escape,” Jones noted on the Facebook posting.

Indeed, according to Sulcatatortoise.net “Their natural habitats are grasslands, savannahs and shrub-lands. They are known to burrow into the ground of these dry lands so that they may find moist areas and escape high temperatures. In fact, their burrowing ability is quite remarkable and they have been referred to as little bulldozers due to this ability.”

Obviously Zack was attempting to escape the oppressive heat around here.

Sulcata tortoises are the third-largest kind of tortoise in the world behind the galapagos tortoise and aldabra giant tortoise and they can grow to 200 pounds and live up to 150 years.

In 2011, a tortoise rescue group called on pet store owners to stop selling these tortoises; apparently some buyers did not understand how large the animals could grow and pet store staffers reportedly are not always a-hundred-percent honest about the potential size. Their digging habits make them possibly destructive, and they can produce lots of babies. So if you saw the pic and said, “Oooh, I want one,” you have been warned.