PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — A Treasure Coast animal hospital is hoping to place an finish to whoever has been portray gopher tortoises within the space.
The Animal Hospital of West Port St. Lucie wrote on its Fb web page Tuesday that veterinarians “have been seeing gopher tortoises which have been painted.”
Most lately, the hospital took in a tortoise whose shell was painted pink.
“It’s extremely dangerous for the tortoises,” Dr. Leonard Fox stated.
“Sadly, I’ve seen this occur earlier than, so I used to be like, ‘Here is one other one,'” Fox stated.
Fox stated portray the animals makes them extra weak to predators, blocks their ultraviolet consumption and causes respiratory issues.
“Predators can discover a pink tortoise very simply, so it may turn out to be meals,” Fox stated.
The Fb submit urges residents “to please go away these animals alone.”
Gopher tortoises are a threatened species, making it towards the legislation to harass them.
Fox hopes anybody with info will alert Florida wildlife officers at 888-404-FWCC. Tipsters whose info results in an arrest might be eligible for a reward.
Within the meantime, the pink-painted tortoise can be cleaned up and returned to the world the place she was discovered.
“We can be slowly eradicating the paint, little-by-little, to not stress it out,” he stated.