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Summerville, Georgia: Turtles Escape Captivity, Make A Beeline For Nearby Ponds

07/19/12 08:33 AM ET  AP

SUMMERVILLE, Ga. -- More than 1,000 turtles made a slow-speed escape from their turtle farm in northwest Georgia.

Turtle farmer David Driver tells sheriff's officials he suspects vandals might be to blame for tearing down fences around his turtle ponds in Summerville.

Authorities say that allowed the turtles – including snappers, Eastern paints and yellow-bellied sliders – to leave the farm and make a beeline to nearby ponds and creeks.

Sheriff's officials are continuing to search for the turtles.

Summerville, known more as the home of folk artist Howard Finster than it is for turtles, is about 90 miles northwest of Atlanta.

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  • From AP: Two of nine American bison that escaped from Buzz Berg's Stevenson, Maryland farm run from police and volunteers Tuesday, April 26, 2005, on a tennis court at Greene Tree gated community in Pikesville, Md. Police herded the buffalo into the courts before herding them into a trailer and returning them to their farm. (AP Photo/ Steve Ruark)

  • Yvonne, a six-year-old cow from Bavaria, is pictured here in August while she was on the loose. She escaped before being slaughtered at a farm in May, and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/01/runaway-cow-tracked-down-germany_n_945507.html" target="_hplink">eluded authorities for three months</a>. She is now at an animal sanctuary.

  • From AP: Forest officials of Manas Wildlife Sanctuary chase a one-horned rhinoceros which strayed in Kalcheni village, about 130 kilometers (81 miles) west of Gauhati, India, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008. More than 100 wildlife officials tracked the animal using its radio collar after it strayed from the park on Sept. 1, but could not capture it until Sunday, fearing that if they tranquilized it in the marshy area it could drown. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

  • From AP: "Lucky Lady," a seven month-old lamb found wandering around in the Bronx, poses for a portrait while eating in her temporary digs, a cage at Animal Care and Control of New York City, a rescue organization for animals in New York, Wednesday, June 13, 2007. Shelter director Liz Keller said the lamb caught a break. She apparently escaped from a live animal market where she would have been sold for food. Now she is bound for the sanctuary of a farm in upstate New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

  • From Getty: A group of mink take shelter in a hole in the ground after they and more than 10,000 others were released from a breeding facility in the eastern German town of Grabow by unknown persons on October 26, 2007. The German Army was called in to help recover the escaped animals. AFP PHOTO DDP/JENS SCHLUETER

  • From AP: Farmer Andrew Melick was knocked down and run over by one of his cows after it got free from its trailer Tuesday morning, Dec. 4, 2007, along Mahoning Creek, in Danville, Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Bloomsburg Press Enterprise, Keith Haupt)

  • From AP: This undated photo provided by Rusty Bennett, shows a 4-foot long orange and white snake in Edmonds, Washington. Rusty Bennett was in his backyard June 12, 2011 when he stepped on the tail of a 4-foot long orange and white snake. Bennett tells The Daily Herald of Everett it was "kind of freaky." He and his wife called police. An animal control officer identified the reptile as a type of candy cane corn snake. It turns out the snake belongs to a neighbor who said it escaped eight months ago. Officials are surprised the pet snake was able to survive that long outside on its own. (AP Photo/Rusty Bennett via The Herald)

  • From AP: In a Tuesday Oct. 18, 2011 photo, a dead lion lays by the fence on Terry Thompson's farm near Zanesville, Ohio. Police killed dozens of animals Tuesday that escaped from the wild-animal preserve where the owner's body later was found. (AP Photo/Heather Ellers and Dustin Burton)

  • From AP: This photo provided by John Gibbs shows an unidentified person trying to roundup llamas on a highway north of Omaha, Nebraska, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2008. Douglas County Sheriff's deputies and animal control workers received reports Wednesday morning of three llamas that had escaped their enclosure. The animals, a mother and two young llamas, were found on an access road to state Highway 133, north of Omaha. (AP Photo/John Gibbs)

  • In March, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2011/08/03/escaped-peacock-heads-for_n_916824.html" target="_hplink">a peacock escaped from New York City's Central Park Zoo</a>. The bird proceeded down Fifth Avenue, where it perched on an apartment building's ledge.

  • From AP: Animal trainers capture a fleeing elephant at a house in Seoul, Wednesday, April 20, 2005. Six elephants escaped from an amusement park Wednesday and injured a woman as they rampaged through the South Korean capital, officials said. All of the animals were eventually captured and returned to the park. (AP Photo/Yonhap, Lee Ock-hyun)

  • From AP: Police officers look on as one of two pigs that escaped from a slaughterhouse is lifted over a fence by an unidentified animal aid worker after being recaptured near Malmesbury, England Friday, Jan. 16, 1998. The escapades of the two pigs - nicknamed Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Pig - have been taken up enthusiastically by British newspapers and television channels, since they escaped from the slaughterhouse by squeezing under a fence and swimming across a river over one week ago. The escapees will spend the rest of their days in an animal sanctuary. (AP Photo)

  • From AP: A Chilean flamingo wings its way up the Connecticut river after eluding would-be captors in East Hampton, Connecticut, Oct. 18, 1997. The flamingo, named Pinky by her keepers, escaped from the Litchfield estate of ornithologist S. Dillon Ripley on Sept. 26. (AP Photo/Richard Mei)

  • From AP: Stray buffalo run across a frozen field near Pierre, S.D., Tuesday, Jan. 14, 1997. The buffalo are part of a commercial herd raised at the Triple U Buffalo Ranch, 45 miles from Pierre. About a thousand of the animals escaped after a blizzard. (AP Photo/Charles Bennett)

  • From Getty: A bear roams close to a house on January 8, 2010 in Przemysl. The bear, escaped from a park of wild animals in the Ukrainian city of Sambir located 40 km from Przemysl, didn't attack anybody but policemen and veterinarians caught him to prevent any incidents. AFP PHOTO/ PAP/ DAREK DELMANOWICZ

  • From AP: In this March 28, 2011 photo, a Thai man stands next to a crocodile that was captured after it escaped from Nakhon Si Thammarat zoo during floods in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, southern Thailand. (AP Photo)

  • From Getty: This picture taken on September 20, 2010 in Wroclaw shows an anaconda held in quarantine at the zoo after it was discovered by a woman in her apartment. An anaconda measuring almost two meters was dicovered by a 73-year-old woman in her bathroom after it escaped through the toilet from a neighboring apartment. AFP PHOTO/ PAP/Grzegorz Hawalej

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