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'Turtleman' gives kids a Christmas treat


LELAND, NC (WWAY) -- While kids will wait for Santa's superfast flying reindeer to make their global trek tonight, it was a much slower set of animals that grabbed attention in Leland today.

Randy Gallagher, better known as "Turtleman," was back in our area today. He brought his tortoises to the Arby's off US 17.

Turtleman travels all over with the tortoises to educate people about wildlife. He says he loves to see kids interact with the animals.

Children we spoke with say the tortoises made for a memorable Christmas Eve.

"It was fun to ride the turtle. It was really fun," Mikayla Branch said. "It went a little slow but it was really fun to ride on a tortoise."

The kids had a blast riding Gerry, a 35-year-old African spurred tortoise.

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Turtle Man

Is he doing this to educate? I saw the guy in Brunswick County at the intersection of Hwy 130 and Mt. Pisgah Road at a Flea Market. When we pulled up beside his show and snapped a couple of pics with our cell phone he became angry that we didn't tip him for the opportunity to take a pic. I wondered as I continued to see him all over the county if he was required to have any type of license or liability insurance for his money making opportunity.