Tortoise stolen from Albuquerque Air National Guard Lt. Colonel

Updated: 09/04/2014 10:32 PM | Created: 09/04/2014 6:43 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4

ALBUQUERQUE -- Why would anyone steal a tortoise? That's what Mona's owner is trying to figure out.

Mona is a 21-year-old desert tortoise who's been in her family for decades. But it's been a week since someone took her from an Albuquerque backyard.

"Where's Mona?" shouts John Feely.

Best friends are hard to find. That's why Macy the yellow lab is searching her Albuquerque backyard on Thursday. She's searching for Mona the tortoise.  Mona's a simple gal, a good listener, and a quirky eater.

"Everybody that's gotten to know her has become attached to her," said Deanna Wolf.  

Wolf says Mona's the best kind of friend because she's different.

"Mona's personality -- she's just kind of endearing," said Wolf.

Mona's been there every time Wolf comes home. Wolf is Air National Guard Lieutenant Colonel Wolf.

She's an emergency nurse -- deployed through the years to war zones, including Iraq.

For 21 years, Mona has welcomed her home.

"You do get attached," said Wolf. "It's a long, long time. She has a very long lifespan; she can live to be 80 or 100 years old."

Wolf has been living on-base at Kirtland this year, in a house with no yard.

So Mona was staying at her regular crash pad with friends Mary and John Feely, munching on veggies, and getting ready for winter.

"It's really hard to explain to somebody that the pet you're taking care of…that it's gone," said John Feely.

That's what the Feelys had to do on Wednesday, when someone took Mona.

"My biggest worry is that Mona's going to die," said Wolf.

Mona needs a lot of special care; she was given to Wolf from an Arizona lab where she was born 21 years ago. She's never been in the wild.

"She cannot survive in this environment without our help," said Wolf. 

Family and friends put posters up all over the neighborhood.

"She's a big girl, a foot long, 15 to 20 pounds, and she's just a beast," said Wolf.  

But it's been a week, and there's still no sign of Mona.

Mona will need to hibernate soon, and she could die if she can't.    

She has a very distinct dent on her shell, like a bowl.    

If you know who took her, or even if you're responsible, there will be no questions asked if you bring her home, or make arrangements to get her home.

If you have information, you can contact KOB at, or John Feely at

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