Search for Lost Pet Tortoise in Bay Ridge

Doris the tortoise.

Doris the tortoise is on the loose.

A pet African leopard tortoise named Doris has escaped from her family home in Bay Ridge; the creature, which has been owned by neighborhood resident Laura Torres for 22 years, was last seen on 94th Street near Ridge Boulevard. 

Doris is about 10 inches in length, and has been lost since April 21st. Torres told Bklyner she’s looking around the neighborhood today “because it’s sunny and warm and our tortoise is more likely to be active in days like this.” 

She’s also offering a monetary reward for the reptile’s return, and said “neighbors have been great” in helping her search. Even local Council Member Justin Brannan has gotten involved in the search.

Who said Bay Ridge wasn't a small town? There's an African leopard tortoise named Doris on the loose and we need your…

Posted by Justin Brannan on Tuesday, April 27, 2021

“At this point, it’s been a week,” Torres said. “I’m thinking Doris may have been taken in by someone. We are happy to pay a reward, no questions asked. She’s been in our family for 22 years and we would love to have her back.”

Leopard tortoises are native to central and southern Africa, according to the Maryland Zoo, where they thrive in dry savannahs. They graze on mixed grasses,as well as fruit and pads of prickly pear cacti and other succulents that provide them with water. They’ve become increasingly popular as pets, even though, with a likely average lifespan of 80 to 100 years, they may sometimes outlive their owners.

Doris is not the only pet turtle to have gotten lost on the streets of Brooklyn; in 2013, a 70-year-old eastern box turtle named Willie escaped from his Windsor Terrace home. Earlier this year, cops and volunteers used motion sensors, drones—and hot dogs—to successfully track down another lost pet, a dog that went missing in a car crash that killed his owner.

If you spot Doris on your travels in and around Bay Ridge, you can call 718-374-4325 or email ltorres234@gmail.com.

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Billy Richling

Billy Richling

Billy Richling is a staff reporter for Bklyner, covering politics, real estate and everything else. He lives in Flatbush, and previously worked as Constituent & Communications Manager for the Times Square Alliance. Talk to him about baseball, buses and bagels.

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