Defensive Gun Use of the Day: Killer Tortoise Edition

Tortoise (courtesy in2eastafrica.com)

“Charles Onegiu, who is attached to Ndew Police Post in Ndew sub-county, says he was in his grass-thatched hut sipping away on a cup of tea when the incident happened,” newvision.co.ug reports. “The tortoise crept in and when Onegiu tried to scare it off, the hard-shelled creature appeared unfazed, and instead turned aggressive. The policeman, who had just returned home after a long field day training crime preventers, tried to wave off his unwanted visitor. ‘I tried to scare it but the tortoise became very aggressive. I took a stick to chase it but it instead became more violent making me to make alarm . . .

“I immediately picked a plastic chair to hit it. It then got out of the hut and moved towards the latrine as people rushed to my rescue,” he told New Vision.

The swift-footed reptile (one of the fastest ever recorded at .000213 Miles Per Day) had ceased his vicious attack and was headed off (presumably to kill a lion instead), when the Ugandan Police Officer shot him in the back of his carapace.

The shaken Onegiu then instinctively reached for his firearm and shot the fleeing reptile dead.

“When it came out, I reached for my gun and shot it dead. It was a very big white tortoise. As I talk now, I am still scared because it is the first time I have seen such an incident happen in my life or heard of one,” he said.

TTAG reader PetitionforRedress (who emailed the link) is not impressed.

The swift-footed reptile (one of the fastest ever recorded at .000213 Miles Per Day) had ceased his vicious attack and was headed off (presumably to kill a lion instead), when the Ugandan Police Officer shot him in the back of his carapace. I wonder if this means that police in the US will begin to shoot turtles (out of an abundance of caution) in addition to the family dog.

That’s just being churlish, isn’t it?

comments

  1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    He probably mistook the tortoise for a Pit Bull.

    1. Well the tortoise may be faster than the hare…but not as fast as the hair trigger.

    2. avatar J says:

      Tortoise is the new dog.

  2. avatar The Brotherhood of Steel says:

    Uganda? Well, He was probably hungry…

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      I think you’re on to something there….

    2. avatar Brian in WI says:

      It’s coming right for us!!

      1. avatar Phil says:

        Win!

  3. avatar Barstow Cowboy says:

    He should’ve just jumped on it, which in my experience causes the reptile’s head and legs to retract into it’s shell, and also causes it to launch horizontally either forward or backwards, potentially eliminating other threats. One note of caution, if the reptile hits a fixed object (such as a large pipe sticking straight up or some kind of box) it will ricochet back at you.

    Mario

    1. avatar KB Dave says:

      Hahahaha, nice. Well played.

      1. avatar Ryan says:

        Indeed, that one had me laughing!

    2. avatar Model66 says:

      The fire flowers are not yet in bloom in Uganda.

    3. avatar JasonM says:

      But if you do that on the steps to your castle, you can get unlimited lives. Then it doesn’t matter if a turtle kills you.

  4. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Wow what a loser! Couldn’t out run a tortoise? Oh well-it’s Africa. He’ll eat good tonight…and what would you rather eat …turtle or dog?

    1. avatar Heathen says:

      and what would you rather eat …turtle or dog?

      “What difference could it possibly make?”

  5. avatar Scrubula says:

    Some turtles can actually be dangerous (snapping turtles can bite fingers off) but I don’t know anything about the above incident.
    I would probably have walked out of my hut and asked someone to help me put it somewhere else.

    1. avatar Pyrotek85 says:

      Snappers are indeed nasty as hell and can seriously hurt you, but like all turtles they’re not particularly fast so I still can’t see someone needing to shoot it unless you were truly cornered.

    2. avatar Anonymoose says:

      Tortoises are herbivores though. Even giant tortoises can’t really pose a lethal threat to a human.

  6. avatar Steve says:

    Pit Tortise

  7. avatar Drew says:

    My grandmother told me when she was young in the 30s a snapping turtle got a hold of her finger. After some struggling the solution they applead involved decapitation. Of the turtle not grandma. And yes being Texas farmers in the depression they ate well that night.

  8. avatar BigDinVT says:

    …truly cornered…or hungry (tastes like chicken).

  9. avatar Kyle says:

    Turtles can be very aggressive, even little ones. There was a little garden turtle that kept attacking a pet cat in the yard. The cat couldn’t attack it though because of the shell. The turtle also tried to attack the lawnmower.

    1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

      Maybe certain snappers, but not tortoises. If you have legs and you aren’t a table you should be able to get away from a tortoise. Even if you can’t, the worst they can do is hump your leg (I’ve seen it).

    2. avatar A samurai says:

      “Turtles can be very aggressive…”

      TURTLES. Which are NOT tortoises. It drives me crazy that everyone seems to ignore the difference. It’s like using ape and human interchangeably. Yes, similar. Yes, related. But you’d be pissed if someone called you an ape. Turtles aren’t tortoises and that leads to very different behaviors.
      Turtles tend to be carnivorous. I have witnessed turtles get very aggressive too. Tortoises are herbivorous. The most danger they pose to you, yes even the giant ones, is that they are heavy and can bite. So don’t let them walk on you. And they have sharp beaks. So if you leave your fingers in front of their face they will probably get curious and bit them. Sure big ones can bit off fingers… But you kinda have to let them.
      This is just unbelievable. He was scared? Of a fleeing tortoise? So he shot it from behind? Sounds more like he was angry someone munched on his grass hut. The tortoise probably didn’t understand why this guy kept trying to scare him away from diner. But if ever a man lived in a cheeseburger, he would probably think me a horrifying monster too.
      Now, I have to go hug my sulcata (a common large species in Africa, which this guy probably actually encountered instead of the Galapagos types in the photos, which are endangered in the wild but legal to own in America as pets) tortoises and and count my blessings that crazy Ugandan cops can’t shoot at them.

  10. avatar Jim says:

    Ninja turtle?

    1. avatar chicago steve says:

      Maybe it was trying to reach radioactive ooze…wait I mean democrats…wait…I mean ooze……

    2. avatar Brian in WI says:

      It was looking for pizza…then realized it was in Uganda and got really really pissed

    3. avatar J says:

      Tortoise was dressed in camo, had an assault rifle, high cap mag, and scope, and an NRA sticker on his shell,

  11. avatar Werechicken says:

    Hey, Mario – what fabric do turtles prefer to bite?

    Denim denim denim.

  12. avatar Illinois Minion says:

    Hope it wasn’t Gamera. He’s a mean S.O.B.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamera

    1. avatar ThomasR says:

      It’s Morla, the ancient one. We guess we care after all.

    1. avatar Ryan says:

      Holy crap!

    2. avatar ThomasR says:

      Looks like they could take off a finger.

  13. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Thankfully, I had just swallowed my sweet tea.

  14. avatar Jus Bill says:

    Good thing he wasn’t NYPD. When the fusillade ended half the village would be wounded or dead while the tortoise ambled away unscathed.

  15. avatar JoshtheViking says:

    Maybe I should trade my attack sloth for a tortoise.

  16. avatar SteveInCO says:

    two ten-thousands of a mile per day? That’s about one foot per day.

    Ridiculous. Tortoises are MUCH faster than that, even when they aren’t particularly motivated. I tend to discount the rest of the news story at that point; if the writer is being that snarky there where else should I assume he’s bulls**ting?

    I have seen, with my own eyes, Galapagos tortoises cover ten feet in less than ten seconds, lifting their body off the ground and walking like any other four footed animal. Feeding time at the San Diego Zoo. (That picture looks like a Galapagos tortoise, in fact.)

    But large tortoises are not a problem. In fact, prehistorically they generally have gone extinct wherever people live because it’s too easy to simply pick them up and set them on a fire.

    1. avatar 101nomad says:

      They come in their own bowls.

      1. avatar Full Cleveland says:

        Uh….never mind.

        1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

          Yep. Not going there either.

      2. avatar 101nomad says:

        Maybe I typed that wrong?

        1. avatar James Miller says:

          Dude, WTF?! Some things just can’t go unseen.

  17. avatar Jug says:

    Should have just picked him up and balanced him on top of a post.
    Then he would have been just like Obama, nothing but a post turtle with no traction.

  18. avatar SelousX says:

    Uganda? Then it was a gay tortoise. Which, of course, makes as much sense as their attitude towards homosexuals.

    1. avatar Full Cleveland says:

      Just how does a gay tortoise feel about homosexuals?

  19. avatar Elysium says:

    Charles Onegiu is now banned from Facebook for killing an endangered animal. 😉

  20. avatar Senna Marpat says:

    Because the universe has a great sense of humor, I’m expecting a wave of tortoise attacks to sweep the country in a few weeks, just so that guy can say “I told ya so”.

  21. avatar 101nomad says:

    Had a 20lb, or so, Raccoon get in thru the doggy door (only way could have). At 4 am it comes walking down the stairs. As we say in Texas, “I tell ya whut”. There was some excitement and comedy going on. Was not funny at the time. Darn thing had probably been in and out for some time. The cat knew him. Bad enough trying to herd the raccoon, but had to get the cat and the gf herded into a bedroom out of the way. The gf wanted to see the “cute animal”. The raccoon went right to the dog food bowl. We wound up back upstairs with me corned in the bathroom, calling Animal Control. Guess what? There is no animal control in Harris County for wild animals in houses. I ain’t lying, I asked the guy, “how about a weird looking 20# poodle?” We had a laugh over that, and he said, “Good Luck”. I finally eased the bathroom door open, no raccoon. Caught the gf trying to go back down the stairs, herded her back into bedroom. Went down and opened front and back door. Could see both of them. Did not see coon leave, but caught movement at edge of flower bed just to right of doorway outside. Shut doors. Went up and let cat out, she followed a trail from hallway to stairs to windows, right back to front door. I was out at daylight boarding up that doggy door. I had the .380, but shooting the raccoon did not seem a good option. My main weapons were a broom and then a golf club. The coon was not impressed.

    1. avatar Full Cleveland says:

      I know the .380 is maligned for it’s lack of power but when word gets out you were using one as a third string backup behind a golf club and a broom it should pretty much kill the pocket pistol trend. Personally I think the golf club is more effective than a broom as a one stop whacker.

      1. avatar Full Cleveland says:

        I mean one whack stopper.

        1. avatar Full Cleveland says:

          Scotch

    2. avatar JasonM says:

      I had a new momma raccoon and three kits living in my crawlspace for the last few months. When they’d walk across my deck, I’d try scaring them off with a stick. The mother would run, but the kits would walk up to the end of the stick and sniff it or chew on it.

    3. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      Wait, where the hell was the dog during all of this? In the past, I’ve had full on, two person, middle-of-the-night armed responses initiated by my dog, who was in hot pursuit of a tiny green lizard which had somehow slipped into the house.

      Your dog’s letting raccoons waltz in at will and jack his kibble? What’s that all about?

  22. avatar TheBroke1 says:

    This thing behind the trigger needs scotch hobbled before it gets a chance to breed or move. They’ve actually hit a all time low!!! What’s next nurseries, with infants wearing blue or pink gang colors???
    It sure seems like the gene pool for LEO’s is hitting a all time low, right on the heels of politicians for common sense and to protect and serve if it be people or The Constitution. Where do they breed this type at?
    At one time it was a sense of hillbillies and rednecks but no more, most of these LEO’s make a normal person feel just flat-ssed EMBARRASSED!!!

  23. avatar TheBroke1 says:

    Its ” ok man it was good shoot ” a week or two off on paid leave and hopefully not a PTSD issue.

  24. avatar Fug says:

    I imagine what happened was something like this, only with a soccer ball: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81720bVYf9Q

  25. avatar Gregolas says:

    Several lines come to mind:
    “Mind you, turtle bites can be quite painful.”
    “A turtle once made me to make alarm in my pants.”
    “At least the officer went home safe at the end of the day.”

  26. avatar Ken says:

    ” . . . sipping away at a cup of tea . . .” ?? Just what kind of leaf was that tea brewed with? Methinks there’s more to that than he’s saying. I remember a couple of times in my misspent yoot years that I was attacked by some otherwise inanimate object that was just lying around. Or buzzed by invisible creatures. If I’d had a gun then I probably would have taken a shot at the vacuum cleaner under those circumstances.

  27. avatar AaronW says:

    As Kim DuToit would say in is (in)famous essay, “Let Africa Sink”

    “Africa Wins Again”

  28. avatar Jay1987 says:

    The uprising has begun!!! BOW BEFORE YOU NEW TORTOISE OVERLORDS & KISS THE SHELL B#%H!!!!

  29. avatar Anonymous says:

    Pretty ridiculous. Wonder how old the tortoise was. They can live to be 250 years old. Even the little striped turtles in the oklahoma region can live to be 50 – 80 years old.

  30. avatar ForRealz? says:

    Yeah. That’s a new one.

  31. avatar PsyHawk says:

    Why does the steam roller/guard scene from Austin Powers come to mind?

  32. avatar Saml Adams says:

    Back in my college days, I worked construction in the summers and our formean caught a snapper in one of the canals during lunch break, tied it up on burlap sack and put in the front of the step van to take home and eat. I end up driving the van back to the warehouse and heading up I-95 the damn thing gets loose and decides to try and wreak revenge on my right ankle. Spent the last few miles to the exit trying to kick it with my left foot and drive with my right just touching the top of accelerator. Finally got to a stop light off the exit and got the thing back in the sack. That was one pissed turtle.

    1. avatar Aaron says:

      turtle soup, baby

  33. avatar Aaron says:

    Same thing happened to me. I had to decapitate a wild corn on the cob that attacked me. Couldn’t just leave it there, that would be wasteful, so I boiled it and ate it.

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