Gopher Tortoise Painted Pink, Florida FWC Seeking Culprit
A second tortoise was reportedly painted as well but has not yet been located.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is actively seeking any information leading to the arrest and conviction of perpetrators who painted the shell of a gopher tortoise. The tortoise is one of two which had their shells painted. The second tortoise has not been found.
“No one should apply paint to a gopher tortoise’s shell (or other body parts)! It may seem harmless, but it is illegal, the FWC said on Facebook. “Painting the shells of turtles and tortoises can cause respiratory problems, allow toxic chemicals into the bloodstream, and can make them more visible to predators.”
The FWC is advising anyone who sees the second tortoise not to try and capture it and remove or remove the paint, but to contact Wildlife Alert at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or by texting Tip@MyFWC.com from your cell phone.
Gopher tortoises are protected throughout their range either by state or federal law. Gopher tortoises are listed as a threatened species in the state of Florida. Both the tortoise and their burrow are protected. They reach maturity at 10-15 years of age and are considered a long-lived tortoise.