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HUNTINGTON BEACH | COMMUNITY NEWS FOCUS

Rare Turtles Disappear From Locked Backyard

September 26, 1997|STEVE CARNEY and J.J. POPE

A dozen desert tortoises, some up to 40 years old, were presumed stolen after they were discovered Wednesday missing from a locked backyard.

Desert tortoises are an endangered species, but the 12 were hatched and raised in captivity by owner Allison Naito, a veterinarian at Huntington Beach Pet Vet.

Her boyfriend, Con Bliss, said Naito has raised some of the turtles since she was 4 years old. They range in size from 6 inches to 1 foot in diameter, Bliss said.

Bliss said he discovered the reptiles were missing when he went to feed them in the backyard of 845 14th St.

The couple are offering a $1,000 reward for the return of the animals. They also are placing ads in local newspapers. Anyone with information about the missing turtles is asked to call (714) 969-0211.

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