Florida wildlife officials search for animal abuser after gopher tortoise found painted pink

ST. LUCIS COUNTY, Fla. — Florida Fish and Wildlife are searching for whoever painted a gopher tortoise’s shell pink, to bring them to justice.

FWC said at least two tortoises have been reported painted and they found and rescued one.

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The tortoise was recovered in St. Lucie County with bright pink paint on its shell and head.

FWC said the tortoise was taken to an authorized facility to remove the paint.

A second gopher tortoise with a painted shell was also reported but has not yet been found, officials said.

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Not only is this cruel to the animal but it is also illegal.

Officials said 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.

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FWC said that if anyone finds a tortoise that has been painted, they should not try to remove the paint as doing so could cause more harm.

If you have any information about who may have applied the paint to these gopher tortoises in the St. Lucie County or Okeechobee County areas, contact our Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or by texting Tip@MyFWC.com from your cellphone.

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