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PORTLAND -- A turtle escaped from its confines in Southeast Portland and its caretaker is hoping the public can help find the reptile at large in the city.

Steven Stevenson of Portland found the Western Painted Turtle on a highway while he was driving with his family through North Dakota. Stevenson said he dodged semi trucks to get the turtle out of harm's way.

He planned to bring the turtle to Portland and turn it over to the Department of Fish and Wildlife so they could release it back into the wild, but it escaped before he could give it to officials.

Now, Stevenson is hoping someone spots the turtle, which got loose near Southeast 66th Avenue and Boise Street.

The turtle can be distinguished by its colorful underbelly.

"When you would turn it over, it had what would look like a pirate's map on the belly," Stevenson said.

He is offering a reward for the return of the turtle. Anyone who thinks they may have spotted the lost turtle should call Susan Barns at 971-673-6010.

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