Preschool’s Pet Tortoise, Michelangelo, in Recovery After Being Impaled

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 31: Michelangelo the tortoise wanders around at ARCHVET Animal Hospital in San Jose, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021. Michelangelo underwent surgery Saturday after he was attacked. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

On Saturday, a 70 year old tortoise named Michelangelo, was impaled at Play ‘N’ Learn preschool in San Jose, California. The African sulcata tortoise was rushed to a local veterinarian clinic called ArchVet Animal Hospital. Currently, Michelangelo has had surgery to remove the remains of the wooden 4 ft by 4 ft stake that impaled Michelangelo’s shell, and is doing well. Michelangelo will have to stay at the animal hospital for two months to recover and will not be able to give the preschoolers rides on his shell for six months.

The tortoise arrived at the preschool four years ago through a rescue program. The preschoolers named the tortoise Michelangelo after Michelangelo from “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”. Since his arrival, Michelangelo has become a very special part of Play ‘N’ Learn preschool. He often gives the kids rides on his shells and has picnics with the preschoolers. The 70 preschoolers, ages 18 months to 5 years, are aware that Michelangelo is at the vet getting an ‘owie’ treated.

Currently, forty year old homeless man, George Robles is in police custody for vandalism, multiple cases of burglary, and animal abuse. He caused about $1,800 of damage to the playground equipment and building of the preschool. The Larizes, part owners of the preschool, did not recognize the man when Robles was first arrested Saturday.

Works Cited

“Preschool’s Pet Tortoise Beaten, Stabbed but Is Recovering.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 2 Feb. 2021,

Sulek, Julia Prodis. “’The Tortoise Is Sick, It Got an Owie’: Beloved Decades-Old ReptileRecovering after Attack at San Jose Preschool.” The Mercury News, The Mercury News, 2 Feb. 2021,