Missing Bay Ridge tortoise is back, after being found in Staten Island

May 3, 2021 Jaime DeJesus
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Doris the tortoise is back home.

After 10 days of searching for their missing 22-year-old pet, a Bay Ridge family was finally reunited with him (yes, Doris is a “him” despite the name) after he somehow made his way to Staten Island.

Owner Laura Torres said that the 10-inch African Leopard tortoise went missing after being left in the backyard on 94th Street near Ridge Boulevard.

“We are thrilled,” she told the Home Reporter about being reunited. “When we learned that she was safe, I was jumping and just so happy.  My kids were so happy as well when they saw her home, they fed her and were so loving and relieved.”

Doris was found in Staten Island and eventually was given to Robert Shapiro, who runs an animal rescue shelter in the borough. 

Laura Torres reunited with pet Doris.

“He saw the coverage in the news and reached out,” Torres said. I have no idea how Doris crossed the Verrazano. I guess that will remain a mystery.”

ABC 7 said the person who found the tortoise called the Staten Island Zoo, thinking that’s where she escaped from. Then, Animal Care and Control officers were finally able to get in contact with Torres.

“We have moved from states, taken airplanes, all along with Doris,” she said, explaining the importance of Doris to her family. “Our two daughters have known her since they were born, as part of our family.”

After Doris went missing on April 21, his family publicized their search on the Bay Ridge Pets Facebook page and set up their own Facebook page. They also enlisted the aid of Councilmember Jim Brannan, who shared the news on his own page and generated massive interest from local residents.

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