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Vet: Tito, 77-pound tortoise, reunites with Massapequa owners

Dr. Ned Horowitz, left, and assisant Will Tammaro,

Dr. Ned Horowitz, left, and assisant Will Tammaro, of Massapequa Pet Vet, with Tito, a 77-pound African spurred tortoise on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

A large tortoise has been reunited with his family after he was found by the side of the road in Massapequa and his story drew attention on social media.

The animal — which veterinarians later learned was named Tito — was taken to Massapequa Pet Vet on Wednesday afternoon, thanks to a ride from a Nassau County police officer, who picked him up from the side of a road. The 77-pound African spurred tortoise immediately drew attention for his size.

Veterinarian Ned Horowitz said media attention helped alert Tito’s owners to his whereabouts.

“With all the publicity, the owner contacted us,” Horowitz said.

The owners stopped by the office Thursday afternoon at about 1:30 p.m. and showed proof of ownership, he said. The family told him a backyard gate had accidentally been left open when the 17-year-old tortoise went out to stretch his legs.

“Apparently he decided to take a longer walk than normal,” Horowitz said.

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