$7,200 reward offered in case involving gopher tortoise killings

LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. (WFLA) – A $7,200 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for the disturbing killing of two state-protected gopher tortoises.

On June 8, children found the two tortoises on a bicycle path in Lakewood Ranch. One of the tortoises was found dead with its shell cracked, and the other was in a pool of its own blood. Neither tortoise survived the attack.

The Center for Biological Diversity on Monday added $5,000 to the reward for information leading to an arrest in the case, bringing the reward total to $7,200.

“It’s deeply disturbing that someone would harm these gentle, defenseless creatures,” said Elise Bennett, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity Center.

“Someone probably has information that can lead the authorities to the person who committed this cruel, illegal act of violence,” Bennett added. “I hope they can find it within themselves to share that information and give justice to these tortoises and the communities that loved them.”

Florida law prohibits any person from killing or wounding gopher tortoises, which are protected as threatened in the state. Violating the law is a third-degree felony and punishable by up to five years in prison, a $5,000 fine or both. Anyone with information should contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or Tip@MyFWC.com.



WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s