The search for a toddler’s turtle in Waterbury

Generic tortoise

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — There’s a wild search happening in Waterbury — literally.

Residents are coming together to help a 2 year-old boy find a loved one.

But, there’s something different about this loved one. He’s a member of the family hoping to come out of his shell.

The loved one who’s missing is …… Toby the tortoise — 2 year-old Nicolas Melendez’s pet.

2017 05 31missingturtle The search for a toddlers turtle in Waterbury“I want him to come home,” Nicolas said.

Nicolas and his family have spent everyday since Saturday searching the woods in a nearby park for any sign of Toby.

“Out tortoise Toby was dropped off here Sunday afternoon,” Nicolas’ grandmother, Dawn said. “Someone found him on the street and they didn’t know what to do with him so they figured he’s a turtle — the woods would be good for him but they’re not because he’s not a water turtle he’s a land turtle.”

Toby made his great escape on land — from the family’s backyard late Saturday afternoon.

“They were filling up a pool in the backyard and the pool split and we had him out in the dog kennel and they brought him out of the kennel so he wouldn’t get flooded because like I said he’s a land turtle and he was walking around the yard and they left the gate open and he just traveled.”

Where he traveled remains a mystery. But the search has generated buzz on social media. Family friends have made fliers. They’ve posted them on Facebook and around town — hoping to spread the word that an unusual precious pet is missing. Some residents have even gone on searches looking for Toby themselves.

You may wonder how far a tortoise could get on the lamb? But, Dawn says Toby moves faster than you might think. She says she’s moved by how much the community cares about her family’s missing pet.

“I never thought there were many people who have hearts like this,” Dawn said. “I just moved here about a year ago. The neighbors are great. People around here are great.”

It gives her hope that somewhere somehow Toby will be found and reunited with her grandson.

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