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Rare tortoise stolen from wildlife center


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DOUGLASTON, NY — A rare 100-pound tortoise that could be a century old has been stolen from a wildlife center on Northern Boulevard.

The tortoise, Millennium, was taken from his home at the Alley Pond Environmental Center at 228-06 Northern Blvd sometime between July 16 and 17 afternoons.

Officials at the center were appalled when they realized the African-spurred tortoise, which is rare for the area, was missing on July 17.

"It was quite shocking and disappointing because Millennium is one of our big attractions here," said Venus Hall, an educator at the center, of the animal they rescued around 12 years ago.

Millennium could be anywhere between 17 and 100 years old based on its size.

Employees noticed he was gone at around 4 pm on July 17 after a visitor asked to see the center’s tortoises.

They then noticed that the back gate–which leads out to the woods and onto Northern Boulevard–had been tampered with, with dents in the garden showing the gate was moved.

Hall guessed this wasn’t a solo job, given the tortoise’s size, and she suspects he was hoisted over the fence.

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