Bay Ridge tortoise makes safe return home
after 10-day adventure to Staten Island
BY MEAGHAN MCGOLDRICK
After a 10-day journey that led
her to Staten Island, Doris the tortoise
has made her way home.
The beloved brown African Leopard
Tortoise made a getaway from
her Bay Ridge backyard on April 21
when the gate was left open for just
20 minutes, owner Laura Torres told
The adventurous tortoise inspired
parties, and on Friday, April 30, Torres
and Doris were fi nally reunited.
“After 10 days, Doris is fi nally
home,” the family wrote on Facebook.
“We’re so grateful for all the
love and support in helping us fi nd
her, and we are so glad to fi nally
have her back.”
The 10-inch by 6-inch tortoise had
reportedly made it all the way from
94th Street and Ridge Boulevard to
Staten Island, where a concerned
resident thought she’d escaped from
the Staten Island Zoo.
Animal control offi cers at the facility
were eventually able to get in
touch with Torres, and arrange for
Doris’ safe return.
A 15-year Bay Ridge resident,
14 COURIER LIFE, MAY 7-13, 2021
Torres said it felt good to know the
community had her back.
“People have been great. I’ve been
putting fl yers in people’s mailboxes,
and they’ve called to tell me they’re
looking. People have had their own
search parties, and kids have been
looking,” she said. “They’ve been so
Doris even received support from
area Councilmember Justin Brannan,
who amplifi ed calls to help fi nd
“And you thought Bay Ridge
wasn’t a small town? There’s an African
leopard tortoise named Doris
on the loose and we need your help!”
Brannan wrote on Facebook.
Doris’ big adventure was certainly
one for the family scrapbook.
“We’ve had Doris for over 20
years in our family, longer than our
own children,” she wrote on the animal
fi nding site PawBoost.
“Special thanks to Robert Shapiro
for rescuing her,” the family
added on Facebook. “Thank you all
Additional reporting by Aidan
HOMECOMING: Owner Laura Torres with animal rescue specialist Robert Shapiro and her beloved
pet tortoise. Courtesy of Laura Torres
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