If you ever see a tortoise wandering West Austin alone, check his rear end for a set of labeled phone numbers and an Apple iTag. If that’s what you see, you’ll know you’ve found Bruce, who has a penchant for adventure.
Bruce, a Sulcata tortoise, just returned to his Daveport Ranch home mid-last week from a six-day trip that had his family, Austinites Brian and Samantha Price, anxiously searching on foot. Brian searched between his 24-hour shifts as an ER doctor.
“I was panicking because there was 109-degree weather, it was ridiculous, and there was no rain,” Brian said. “I was getting super nervous so I was literally out there every single day.”
In the 15 years Bruce has lived with the Prices, he has escaped a handful of times but always finds his way back with the help of his friends and social media.
Bruce as a baby.
Bruce now weighs 70 pounds.
The Price family adopted Bruce as a baby when their youngest son started asking for a pet tortoise. In the spirit of the dad who didn’t want the family pet, Bruce largely became Brian’s responsibility (and best friend) before long.
“Brian searched for him for hours and hours every day. He worked so hard and found him and also had a really good idea of where he was going to end up,” Samantha said. “He truly understands Bruce.”
Now a solid 70 pounds, Bruce has become famous in their neighborhood for his antics—Brian said he has escaped home three times, once for 19 days straight and as far as nine miles away.
After his first disappearance, the Prices added stickers with their phone numbers to his shell, which helped him get found the second time when he stopped by someone’s lawn. Then they added the iTag, which he conveniently managed to slough off before he disappeared this month.
Each time they have taken to Nextdoor to spread the word of his disappearance, where neighbors have organized search parties, created maps of his favorite locations, given out flyers, shared tips and brought Bruce home.
This time, Bruce was found by a neighbor's child in the greenbelt while Brian was searching using mating calls that had been suggested online.
“Everybody knows Bruce in Westlake because of his escapes, everybody knows about the adventures of Bruce,” Brian said. “Whenever we go on vacation, the neighbors help take care of him.”
His adventures have inspired a book idea, which Samantha envisions as an educational chronicle of Bruce’s adventures from his perspective; a reattached tracker and an enclosure upgrade that gave him about 200 square feet of shade to roam so he hopefully won’t want to seek it elsewhere.
“I saw the community coming together and just wanting to find him, he really does bring our community together,” Samantha said.
Brian said his aversion to social media even faltered a little when he watched his online community comment, “Bruce for mayor!” upon his post announcing the tortoise was back home.
“He's a little celebrity,” Brian said.
- Instagram stars clone dogs, cats with Austin tech company ViaGen ... ›
- Animal rights activist Jeanne Daniels destroys the Tarrytown ... ›
- Furever companion: Austonia's complete guide to adopting in Austin ... ›
- Austinites seek quarantine companions as animal shelters work to ... ›
- In afterglow of 'Queer Eye,' Safe in Austin animal rescue ranch sees ... ›
- Austin Zoo announces plans to COVID vaccinate animals - austonia ›
Tesla’s Austin presence is becoming even greater as the automaker plans for a nearly 52,000-square-foot showroom in northeast Austin.
A filing with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation reveals Tesla will have the dealership at 2323 Ridgepoint Drive, near the intersection of 290 and 183. It’ll serve as Tesla’s fourth Austin showroom once it reaches its expected completion in February next year.
Boyd Watterson Asset Management is listed as the owner of the one story building that will undergo renovations and alterations totaling $1.5 million. Illinois-based Chipman Design Architecture is listed as the design firm.
Tesla’s other Austin showrooms include one at the Domain, another off of Research Boulevard in northwest Austin and at The Yard in South Austin. The site on St. Elmo Road was built just last year with an estimated $2.5 million price tag.
News of the showroom comes shortly after Tesla applied for expansions at its headquarters in southeast Travis County. According to filings, Tesla may build a 500,000-square-foot building for two general assembly lines at Giga Texas.
- Tesla reports a record Q4 at shareholders call in jan. 2022 - austonia ›
- Austin environmental groups call on city to hold off on approving ... ›
- Tesla 2021 year in review for austin - austonia ›
- Tesla is adding a 500,000-square-foot building to Giga Texas ... ›
- Tesla smashes into pole in Jared Padalecki's car wreck - austonia ›
- Tesla will build 'the nation's most sustainable' solar neighborhood in ... ›
Now’s your chance to see a Spurs game without a trip to San Antonio.
The 2022-23 NBA schedule has been released and it includes the “I-35 Series,” with two games at The Moody Center April 6 and April 8. For the first game, the Spurs will be playing the Portland Trail Blazers and the next will be against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Season ticket holders can secure their seats on Sept. 21 and all other tickets will go on sale Sept. 28.
It's here y'all! Our #Spurs50 anniversary season is set 🗓
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) August 17, 2022
The Spurs already have a significant Austin presence both through their minor league affiliate, the G-League Austin Spurs, and its ownership, which announced Austin billionaire Michael Dell as a new “strategic partner" in June 2021. You'll also see a new logo on this season's jersey: Austin-based fin-tech company Self Financial.
During a May Bexar County commissioner's meeting, The San Antonio Spurs were approved in a 3-2 vote to move some of its games out of San Antonio and its current home stadium, the AT&T Center. The plan came as a way to boost revenue and cater to its far-reaching fan base.
By the 2023-2024 season, two games will be allowed within 100 miles of AT&T Center as part of the two-year "pilot program.” Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said those games could take place in the Alamodome or San Marcos but that Austin would likely be the top contender.
The multi-purpose stadium in San Antonio has a 65,000 capacity, which the team says could allow them to break an attendance record for an NBA regular season game.
While some have taken their coming Austin games as a sign of a future move for the Spurs, the team was quick to shut down those rumors.
The team, which is celebrating 50 years in San Antonio after relocating from Dallas, said it is not looking for an exit but made the plans for games in other cities after stumbling sales amid the pandemic.
While average home attendance plummeted to 27th among the 30 NBA teams this season, the team has a pricey non-relocation agreement through the 2031-2032 season and has recently embarked on a $500 million mixed-use facility in San Antonio's La Cantera area.
The Spurs will also have a game in Mexico City on Dec. 17 and a Jan. 13 game at the Alamodome. Tickets for those go on sale Sept. 10 and Sept. 1, respectively.