Scorch

Scorch lives on the corner of North Guadalupe right next to HJM Elementary where the students at recess love taking pictures of him. (Jared Van Epps/Wave Photo)

Students at HJM Elementary School were at awe when they saw that there was turtle at the house on the corner of North Guadalupe near CCISD Central Office.

Scorch, a 15 year-old tortoise, loves the attention from the children of HJM and the people who see him.

“He’ll come out here and walks back-and-forth by the fence, and he’ll stick his head up, and just let them look and take pictures. He let’s the mailman take pictures of him too,” Brittney Quintanilla, Scorch’s owner and 33-year old Port Lavaca resident, said.

Quintanilla said she has always loved turtles. After high school she went to a pet shop and saw him. She added Scorch was little turtle when she saw him, and he was small enough to fit her pocket.

“He was a little baby about the size of a scotch tape holder and he just kept growing and growing.” Quintanilla said.

Scorch is a African Spurred Tortoise, the third largest species of tortoise in the world, according Quintanilla. Quintanilla added he is 19 inches wide and 25 inches long.

Scorch is loved by her two children, Trevor Quintanilla, 9, and Vayda Quintanilla, 5 and Quintanilla’s grandmother, Dolores Gonzales.

Quintanilla said her grandmother loves to feed Scorch snacks when she visits the front porch or comes inside.  She added that children love feeding him too.

“My kids love feeding him,” Quintanilla said. “And sometimes he will follow them around the yard when they play.”

During the Hurricane Harvey evacuations, Quintanilla and her family took Scorch with them to San Antonio.

“We had to take him whenever we took off for the hurricane. We took him to San Antonio with us. He took up the whole back seat of my van,” she said.

Scorch had to stay at a veterinarian clinic in San Antonio. Quintanilla said during his time at the clinic he was celebrity.

“When we picked him up they told us he was celebrity.” Quintanilla said. “All the employees took pictures of him and posted them on their social media pages.”

Scorch used to live on Randal Street, according to Quintanilla, but she said after Harvey a tree landed on his little house that he slept in.

 “His house was smashed in Harvey, so it was good thing that I took him because a tree fell on his house that he slept in, so now this is his yard,” Quintanilla said.