A homeowner has been charged after illegally keeping four gopher tortoises in a cage in 100-degreee temperatures. Authorities further found the tortoises were trapped in the heat without access to water.
They said, “It’s not ok. We don’t know who needs to hear this, but…leaving ANY animal in this heat is a dangerous situation. This means locked in your car, boat or even your yard.”
They went on to say, “When we received a call from a county agency investigating a report of animal cruelty, our officers went out to the home to find four gopher tortoises in a cage with no access to water and the outside temperature hovering around 100 degrees.”
It’s not ok.We don’t know who needs to hear this, but…leaving ANY animal in this heat is a dangerous situation. This…
Further investigation revealed the homeowner collected four of the gopher tortoises, which are state-listed threatened species and not legal to keep in captivity. They were cited with four criminal charges.
FWC continued the post, saying, “The tortoises were transported to an animal hospital for rehabilitation, with the goal of releasing them back into the wild.”
According to the FWC, gopher tortoises are a protected species in Florida. “They dig deep burrows for shelter and forage on low-growing plants. Gopher tortoises share their burrows with more than 350 other species and are therefore referred to as a keystone species.”
Per state law, it is illegal to kill or disrupt gopher tortoises or their eggs or burrows.