Gopher tortoise found covered in red paint and concrete

MONTEVERDE, Fla. (WSVN) — Wildlife officials are looking for whoever spray painted a gopher tortoise in central Florida.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said two good Samaritans found the tortoise completely covered in spray paint in the middle of a road in Lake County, near Orlando.

The pair brought the tortoise to a wildlife rehabber, where the animal is now recovering.

FWC said the reptile also had concrete on its limbs and the top of its shell.

“It is both illegal and very harmful to the health of a gopher tortoise to apply man-made substances, such as paint or concrete, to any part of their body or shell,” the agency wrote on Facebook.

Gopher tortoises are a protected species and listed as threatened in the state of Florida. Both the tortoise and its burrow are protected under state law, FWC says.

A reward is being offered for information on who used paint and concrete on the animal.

You can contact FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at (888) 404-FWCC (3922), text or email, or use #FWC or *FWC on a cellphone. You can stay anonymous.

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