Stumpy, Three-Legged Tortoise, Among 15 Stolen Exotic Animals Recovered In Denver, Colorado (VIDEO)

10/19/2012 07:48 pm ET | Updated Oct 20, 2012

Earlier this week, "Wildman" Phil Rakoci reported that his beloved three-legged reptile, along with several other animals, had been stolen in Englewood, Colo.

"AMBER ALERT! Stumpy the Tortoise has been kidnapped in the Denver area," Rakoci, a self-described naturalist who "goes to schools all over the country to educate kids about animals that would give a lot of people the creeps," wrote on his Facebook wall on Wednesday.

According to KDVR.com, Rakoci left Stumpy and 14 other animals, including a 13-foot python and several tarantulas, in his locked SUV at a parking lot of an Englewood Walmart. When he returned, however, he discovered that his vehicle had been stolen.

Panic ensued across the Internet, with many asking the mind-boggling question: Who would steal Stumpy the Tortoise?

Fortunately, police have announced that the rockstar reptile and his friends have been found safe and sound, CBS Denver reports.

Rakoci's stolen car, with all the animals in it, was discovered abandoned in Denver on Thursday morning.

Rakoci -- who lives in Casa Grande, Ariz., but who was in Colorado to attend a reptile convention -- said he's relieved that his tortoise is back home where he belongs.

"It's pretty heartwrenching," Rakoci told ABC 15, who added that Stumpy is the "star" of his educational traveling show.

"He's pretty friendly for a tortoise," he added. "He loves people."

According to Rakoci's website, Stumpy was left on the animal lover's front porch in a milk crate about eight years ago. The reptile was missing one of its front legs.

KDVR.com writes that Rakoci and a friend then "surgically attached a bracket and wheel to the outside of the reptile’s shell."

Stumpy's been wheeling around on his makeshift "leg" ever since.

Welcome home, buddy.
stumpy the turtle
(Credit: Facebook/Philip Rakoci)

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