Anyone missing a turtle?

Long walk ahead/Daniela Gerson

Or is it a tortoise?  Whatever  it  is you will find this slow-moving creature wandering around Laveta Terrace near Scott Avenue in Echo Park. That’s where Daniela Gerson encountered it trudging across the sidewalk late this morning. Gerson left the animal on a front lawn but it was gone when she returned.

What will turn up next on Laveta Terrace? A hare?

Turtle or tortoise?


  1. I live down the street and believe the turtle belongs to the people who live in the house with the ivy strip in the picture. I’ve seen it in their yard several times.

  2. A tortoise is just a turtle that lives on land. This is a Russian tortoise (also known as an Afghan or four-toed tortoise). As the owner of one for almost 12 years I can attest to their masterful and tireless escape capabilities. Just putting one in a yard and thinking it’ll stay put is inviting it to go exploring.

  3. Strange coincidence: we found a tortoise tied up inside a plastic bag and dumped in front of our house in Historic Filipinotown just yesterday. Is somebody on a tortoise-napping spree? We took ours to the North Central shelter on Lacey if anybody’s looking for him.

    • how bizarre – last week we had a tiny tortoise in a plastic baggie on our walkway same area. ours was no longer alive when baggie opened.

    • Echo Park resident

      Is this another Santeria type thing? Two turtle-in-bag situations make me think it might be. I’m all for people following whatever religion or belief system they want, as long as it doesn’t harm living creatures. This is animal cruelty at its finest 🙁

  4. http://www.turtletimes.com/forums/topic/41677-man-missing-after-sea-turtle-attacks-him/
    The wild animals in our neighborhood are extremely incredibly dangerous.
    If you ever encounter a turtle 1.) Stop taking photos and drop your Iphone on the ground. It is not worth your life. (If you are wearing Google Glass I am not sure I would give those up.) 2.) Scream as loudly as you can “Turtle!!” Then begin running in the opposite direction. A brisk walking pace is probably OK.

    • Are you suggesting … a turtle injunction?


    • Tom, I am shocked, shocked I tell you at your poor advice — if one encounters a tortoise or turtle in EP you must not run but stop, make yourself as big as you can. Backing down will only invite pursuit.

  5. Tom, as a new hipster gentrifying resident, I thank you for the life saving advice! I need to know what to be afraid about.

  6. OMG THATS AWESOME. I bet someone down the road has a “pet turtle cage” sort of say. That thing is HUGE though and I would hate to have to care for that thing. I think turtles or tortoises live for around a hundred years and what age that makes that big fellow.. not sure. What did you do in your situation? Did you call the human society? haha

  7. It seems that this turtle has a history in show business – and he helped us during the Cold War, to boot. Quite a patriot. Thank you for your service, Bert.


  8. Hope it doesn’t get run over

  9. I’m a bit shocked here. Did you really just leave the turtle on the lawn? Did you think that it was just living in the wild and would be better on its own? This turtle obviously has a home in the neighborhood. How about some neighborly help? Take the turtle home and then go door to to door or hang some signs and talk to people to find out where the turtle lives. Or is that too much effort?

    Do you really think the LA shelter system is a actually a “haven” or a “safe place”? NEVER take an animal to the shelter before trying your best to find its home in the neighborhood. Los Angeles shelters are HIGH KILL. They make ZERO effort to “find” the owners so unless the owner is smart enough to constantly keep checking the shelter for the lost pet, it is doubtful the animal will ever find its home again.

    • This turtle escapes at least once a month and can been seen roaming down the street on the regular. I have personally pulled it out of the middle street 2 times in the past couple of years. People always put up signs on Ridge of Laveta trying to locate the owners, so yes, people make the effort.

    • One question, Emily: After I take a runaway tortoise to the animal shelter, how long will I have to wait until the shell is ready for pickup? Will they call me, or do I have to call them?

    • my thoughts as well. both the owner and the finder are dolts. I will take the tortoise if it’s lucky to turn up alive without getting smashed by a car. sheesh. email me.

  10. Sherrie Papayanopoulos

    This is not a Russian Tort, but rather a Sulcata Tortoise. They are the 3rd largest tort in the world, and are indiginous to the northern Sarhara. Don’t run! Torts are generally friendly, curious creatures, and don’t use their mouths as a weapon. Mostly vegetarian (eating the occasional bug incidentally) they use the spurs on their legs to protect themselves from others by ducking in their shells and covering their head opening with them. I was a science lab facilitator and had one of these torts for 10 years. He’s now in a nearby educational center, and weighs about 75 lb.. I kept him at my place during the summer months, and on 2 occasions he managed to get out from the backyard. One of the times he walked down the street and then came back, hugging the curb the whole way. The next time, a neighbor found him (I guess he wanted to see if the grass was greener on the other side) and he covered it with a garbage pail to contain him, and then came to get me. If a tort can see through a barrier they will try to go through it. This owner needs to put up a solid fence to contain him. And yes, it is a “him.” Females have an opening between their bottom back scutes to allow for egg laying. I am an advocate of not allowing the sale of these torts unless/until proper conditions are met by the purchaser.

  11. My roommate owns a goat. Do you guys want to run a feature on her?

  12. Yes it’s us her name is flip. Do you live near downtown riverside we live at 4345 university and pine.

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