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Police Investigating NYC Tortoise-Napping

The 95-pound Millennium was stolen from an environmental center
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2017 5:31 PM CDT

(Newser) – A tortoise-napper is on the loose in New York City. The Wall Street Journal reports a 95-pound tortoise named Millennium was stolen from the Alley Pound Environmental Center in Queens sometime between Sunday evening and Monday afternoon. The educational center isn't sure how the thief or thieves managed to get way with the African spurred tortoise, "one of the center's most prized animals," according to NY1. A hole was cut in the tortoise enclosure's fence, but it wasn't large enough to slip Millennium through and it would have taken quite the effort to boost him over the 6-foot-high fence. “He’s not an animal you can just come and pick up and walk him half a block. He’s very awkward," the center's head of operations tells the Journal. "You would need a wagon, a hand-truck, or a wheelbarrow.”

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"It was quite shocking and disappointing because Millennium is one of our big attractions here," an Alley Pond educator tells DNAinfo. Millennium was rescued by the center a dozen years ago and has been living in an enclosure with another tortoise named Mini Me. Millennium is estimated to be 17 years old but could actually be up to 100 based on its size. Police are reviewing security footage from the center and nearby areas and using a police dog in hopes of locating the pilfered tortoise. Meanwhile, Mini Me is still safe in the enclosure. (Read more tortoise stories.)

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