JUST IN : Endangered Florida tortoises bashed to death, left in park
Investigators are searching for the person who bashed two tortoises to death in Florida.
The gopher tortoises, which are state-protected, had crushed shells and were left in Lakewood Ranch park, north of Sarasota, on June 8, according to WFTS.
“It almost had appeared that someone had picked up, slammed it, moved it, slammed it again,” Ray Redden, who found the tortoises, told WFTS.
Redden and his 10-year-old daughter rushed one of the tortoises to the hospital, but it was too late. Both reptiles died as a result of the trauma, according to WFTS.
Now a $7,200 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest, according to The Center for Biological Diversity.
Killing or wounding gopher tortoises 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