Drew Desjardins, owner of Mr. Drew and His Animals Too, holds a red-footed tortoise in his educational center in Lewiston on Thursday afternoon. Desjardins put the word out on his Facebook page when a community member contacted him with news of her missing red-footed tortoise, Godzilla, which inspired a community search. Godzilla returned home Thursday. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

TURNER — With warmer weather comes good news: Godzilla the tortoise has returned home and he seems to wonder what all the fuss was about.

A week after the tortoise slipped out of its Main Street home, spurring a search that involved dozens of volunteers, Godzilla was back with Sher Blevin, its owner of eight years.

Blevin said that on Thursday, she went out to the Turner-Auburn line to pass around more posters as she continued her search for her missing pet. She could have saved herself the trip — when she got back home, Godzilla was there waiting for her. Her son had spotted the runaway tortoise ambling across the backyard.

“It’s a miracle,” Blevin said. “It’s a blessing and it’s exactly what I’ve been praying for.”

Godzilla looked perfectly healthy, Blevin said. He came inside and drank water without much fanfare, as if a small army of people hadn’t been searching for him over the course of a week.

Godzilla went missing May 14, sneaking out of the house as Blevin was distracted by firefighters battling a wildfire near her home. News of the disappearance went viral on Facebook, in large part thanks to Drew Desjardins, who reported the missing tortoise on his popular “Mr. Drew and his Animals, Too” page.

Over the weekend, roughly 30 people showed up at Blevin’s home to help her search for the missing pet.

“People were coming from all over the state,” Desjardins said. “Everyone was looking.”

The ambition and goodwill was there, but the search party failed to find any trace of Godzilla. Blevin continued her search as did several others, but as more days went by, the less likely it seemed that Godzilla would return.

Which made it all the more surprising when Thursday, a week to the day he went missing, suddenly Godzilla was back in Blevin’s backyard as if he’d merely stepped out for a brief walk. It is speculated that warmer weather might have drawn the creature out of hiding, just as Blevin had predicted during the long search.

When news of Godzilla’s return hit Facebook on Thursday, nearly 200 people celebrated with comments on Desjardins’ page.

“Hip hip horray!” wrote one poster.

“Best news ever!” declared another.

“Such a blessing when the community comes together to help someone!” offered a third.

For Blevin, who said she and others prayed for Godzilla’s return over the course of the week, the outpouring of support from the community made her stress over the disappearance a little more bearable.

“I’m overwhelmed,” she said, fighting back tears. “I wish I knew how to thank everybody.”

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