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Doris’ Big Adventure: Bay Ridge tortoise makes safe return home

Doris the Explorer: A beloved Bay Ridge tortoise has been reunited with her family 10 days after escaping home. Pictured is owner Laura Torres with animal rescue specialist Robert Shapiro, and Doris.
Laura Torres

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 Brooklyn Paper.

The adventurous tortoise inspired neighborhood-wide search parties, and on Friday, April 30, Torres and Doris were finally reunited.

“After 10 days, Doris is finally home,” the family wrote on Facebook. “We’re so grateful for all the love and support in helping us find her, and we are so glad to finally 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 officers at the facility were eventually able to get in touch with Torres, and arrange for Doris’ safe return.

A 15-year Bay Ridge resident, Torres said it felt good to know the community had her back.

“People have been great. I’ve been putting flyers 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 supportive.”

“Special thanks to Robert Shapiro for rescuing her,” the family added on Facebook. “Thank you all again!”

Additional reporting by Aidan Graham

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