Thursday Turtle: Thief claiming to be a liberator takes Squishy the turtle from Houston Zoo

A turtle known as “Squishy” is missing after the critter was taken from the Houston Zoo by someone who claimed to be freeing the rare turtle.

The suspect, who was caught on video, posed for a souvenir photo before leaving with the turtle in March, according to a Houston Police department report.

The Houston resident Jaden Andel, 21, left the zoo by Uber with the turtle and the Uber driver later reported the incident. The driver said the suspect said she was “liberating” the turtle. Squishy is a rare snake-headed turtle with a value of $2,500 US, according to experts.

Apartment managers at Andel’s residence said they saw the suspect with the turtle and that the suspect had even “boasted” about taking the turtle.

Andel later reportedly released the turtle in a safe place, according to the police report.

“The Houston Zoo will not tolerate the theft or endangerment of any of our animals, big or small,” Houston Zoo said in a release.

“On March 5, a visitor stole a 16-year-old Siebenrock’s snake-necked turtle named “Squishy” from our zoo. After extensive investigation by HPD detectives, we are prepared to prosecute to the furthest extent the law allows and do everything we can to get Squishy returned safely.”

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Peg Fong is also in recovery from newspapers

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