Texas family's exotic pet also doubles as lawn mower

MARBLE FALLS, TX (KXAN/NBC) - A Texas family has recently added an exotic tortoise to their collection of pets that includes three dogs and a rare bird.

The Brown's backyard is now home to the 140-pound African tortoise. Their latest addition comes with added perks.

"They said he would mow the grass and I thought, 'Well, that is great. I want him,'" Sandy Brown said. "He is more of a weed-eater I would say."

The exotic pet store delivered the tortoise three weeks ago. His name?

"For right now, we are calling him 'Baby' until we find a better name," Brown said. "We are open to suggestions."

Baby is already 40 years old. Some tortoises have grown to be more than 100 years old and weigh several hundred pounds.

Brown no longer has to mow her lawn or pull weeds because Baby loves to eat them.

Baby, however, does more than light landscaping.

"I came out one morning and our patio table and one chair was down by the sidewalk," Brown said.

It is not that Baby wants to move furniture. He just takes with him whatever is in his way when he walks by.

Brown also had a builder come in and specially design a house for Baby that features a tin roof, a door and heat lamps. It is so big, you could easily mistake it for a child's playhouse.

"It cost us a bit to put that up," Brown said.

She also had to fence in the yard. Baby has escaped twice and had to be brought back with a forklift.

"There is no validity to the tortoise and the hare. He can move," Brown said.

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