Warning: Graphic Images.
An endangered Galapagos tortoise was killed after being run over by people attempting to steal her.
At 2:30 am on June 7th, 2021, a group of people in a truck pulled onto Jerry Fife’s property in Phoenix, AZ, and attempted to make off with his 200lb, 27-year-old Galapagos tortoise named Jasmine. The whole incident was captured on Fife’s RING security footage.
Though Fife was initially asleep when the attempted robbery began, he ended up hearing the commotion and rushed to see what was going on. Seeing two men dragging his Jasmine across the yard, he yelled at them and startled them.
Caught off guard, the thieves quickly hopped back into their Chevrolet pickup truck and fled the scene, running over and crushing the giant tortoise in the process.
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In an interview with Inside Edition, Fife explained, “They jumped in their truck, and in their haste to escape, flipped their truck around and ran over the tortoise.”
While Jasmine didn’t immediately die from the injuries, Fife took to her to an emergency vet where she was determined to have a broken spinal cord and crushed lungs. Because of her severe injuries, it was decided that the most humane option would be euthanasia.
Fife raises tortoises at his Phoenix home and had Jasmine since she was hatched 27 years ago. He said in the interview, “That tortoise has been with me longer than any other living thing in my life.”
Though it’s not legal to sell Galapagos tortoises as pets in the United States, they can fetch a hefty price tag on the black market and can sell for up to $200,000 if smuggled internationally.
Of course, nothing can replace Jasmine, but Fife is hoping that the people responsible will be found and persecuted to the fullest extent. He’s even offering a reward of $14,000 and growing for anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest of the people responsible.Whizzco