FWC offers reward for information leading to culprit who spray-painted gopher tortoise

Tortoise also found with concrete on its limbs, top of its shell

(Kim Titterington)

MONTVERDE, Fla. – The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is offering an unspecified reward for information leading to the culprit who spray-painted a gopher tortoise in Central Florida.

FWC officials said two good Samaritans found the tortoise in the middle of County Road 455, south of Montverde, completely covered in red spray paint and with concrete on its limbs and the top of its shell.

The good Samaritans took the tortoise to a wildlife rehabilitator, who is nursing the tortoise back to health.

FWC officials said "it is both illegal and very harmful to the health of a gopher tortoise to apply man-made substances, such as paint or concrete, to any part of their body or shell."

Anyone with information about who may have applied the paint and concrete on the tortoise is asked to call the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922. Anonymous tips can also be emailed to Tip@MyFWC.com. 

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