He also noted the reptile walks freely throughout the house and is placed in a special indoor tortoise table at night and in the winter time.
But by the time Taberski got home to check on the tortoise he’s raised from a hatchling, Rivet was gone. That’s when he did what any pet owner would.
“I went door-to-door around this area, posted signs. Just about every house they were looking at me kind of in disbelief. A tortoise? Yeah, I know it sounds funny but he definitely meant something,” Taberski said.
He described the pet as approximately eight inches long and six inches wide with a mostly brown shell. Sulcata Tortoises can become much larger, Taberski said, but added he’d done much research to ensure Rivet’s diet did not allow him to become too large too quickly, which could be a health concern.
Sulcata tortoises can live to be up to 150 years old. The difference between a tortoise and a turtle is that turtles live primarily in water and tortoises almost exclusively on land.
Sulcatas are also known to graze within a one to two mile range of their home, but in the area of Juniper and Cleveland Roads where Rivet disappeared there are literally millions of places to hide.
Taberski realizes the continued search for his missing pet might seem silly to some people and downright strange to others, but he says Rivet is a member of the family.
“I almost lost my father not too long ago and he’s the one that got him for me. He hasn’t passed away or anything like that, he’s much better now. It’s just a thing between me and him. [Rivet] means a lot, that’s basically what I’m trying to say. He reminds me of my dad.”
Now, Taberski is hoping someone finds Rivet and brings him home.
"I know that sounds quite odd," he admitted. "How could you sort of have that kind of connection to a reptile? But he was like a family member."
Taberski is offering a cash reward for the person who reunites him with his tortoise. He's asking anyone whose seen Rivet to call him at (574) 261-8351.