Endangered gopher tortoise illegally spray-painted blue

(Source: Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission)

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A gopher tortoise covered in blue paint in Martin County on Thursday, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Painting an endangered tortoise is not only illegal but it can inhibit the tortoise’ ability to absorb vitamins from the sun through their shells and can cause problems in their lungs and blood.

The tortoise was taken to an animal rehabilitation facility where they paint was scrubbed off its shell.

Once recovered, the tortoise was released back into his burrow “with a slight blue hue.”

Any who sees a painted tortoise or any other vandalized wildlife to contact the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC.

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