Tortoise-walking man causing stir in Windward Oahu

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
Kui the Tortoise
Kui the Tortoise

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

KAHALUU (KHNL) - It's an unusual sight in a Windward Oahu neighborhood. But residents say they've gotten used to seeing their neighbor taking his pet tortoise for a walk everyday.

Steven Lynch and his tortoise, Kui, don't mind the attention, especially since their story has inspired this book that's sold around 500 copies.

"I never pictured myself walking a tortoise down the street," Lynch said.

Neither did his neighbors.

"I did do a double take, is he walking a turtle?" Neighbor Richard Knake said. "After a couple of times, yep, he's walking a turtle, it's different, most people walk dogs, but he walks a turtle."

Lynch says it all just started off as something to do. The book just complimented their relationship.

"I was just playing around with it," he said. "I never expected anything to come of it."

But it's more than just a daily walk.

"Close calls all of them running off the road 'cuz their astounded by me walking a tortoise down the street," he said. "People ask me what kind of dog is he."

Not a dog, but he eats like one.

"We feed him every morning, Manoa Lettuce, green lettuce, celery, broccoli, uh, cauli," he said. "This is just basically an afternoon exercise snack for him."

But Lynch looks forward to coming home.

"I'm pretty stressed out from work and it actually helps me relieve my stress, get outside," he said. "I can pretty much tell you that everybody that drives by could tell you who Kui is, but they don't know my name, I'm the guy with the tortoise."

He doesn't mind it.

"As long as I am alive and as long as I can handle him, we're gonna go for a walk everyday," he said.

A slow, but fulfilling walk for the both of them.

Lynch says most of the time, he has to force Kui to come home with him. It almost always ends up with Lynch carrying the tortoise back to his box.