Florida man facing jail after EATING 15 rare tortoises – and capturing 11 more for afters
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A Florida man has admitted eating endangered gopher tortoises for a snack and could be jailed for the cruel act.
Florida Fish And Wildlife Conversation (FWC) was alerted to the crime after several empty gopher shells were found in Citrus County woods.
An FWC officer then found a container which had trapped 11 live gopher tortoises.
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Tasty treat? The man has admitted eating endangered gopher tortoises for a snack, and he was apparently found with a container with 11 more creatures that were alive
Officer Tom Reid told ABC Action News that the find was highly suspicious.
He said: ‘I don’t think anybody would hide tortoises out in the woods if they thought they weren’t doing anything wrong.’
A man driving a truck then turned up and began placing the tortoises belly-up in the back, so that they couldn’t escape.
Florida Fish And Wildlife Conversation (FWC) was alerted to the crime after several empty gopher shells were found in Citrus County woods
At that point Reid presented himself and arrested him.
The man admitted to killing 15 gopher tortoises and said he was planning on eating the 11 that he had caught.
The captured tortoises were set free and the man faces charges for killing a threatened species.
The gopher tortoise makes its home in upland habitats throughout Florida, according to the FWC.
‘Its burrow provides a home for more than 350 animal species, including insects. Because of this the gopher tortoise is known as a keystone species,’ it said.
‘It serves as the backbone of the plant and wildlife community in which it lives.’