SWANSEA, Ill. (AP) -- Thelma the tortoise is back at home in Swansea after 18 days of freedom.
Joseph Ponder of Belleville was walking to a convenience store on Saturday when he spotted the 30-pound African leopard tortoise.
On his way home, he picked up Thelma and showed her to some people who were driving by.
One of them remembered seeing an article about the missing tortoise in the Belleville News-Democrat and called the newsroom.
A reporter then called Thelma's owner, Margie Rice.
Rice then went to Ponder's apartment and got Thelma back.
Rice says Thelma had traveled a number of miles since she fled June 2 from her fenced-in patio at Rice's home. She says she thinks it's amazing Thelma hadn't been hit by a car during her long journey.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)