3 Charged with Torturing, Killing Endangered Tortoises

Jun 17, 2012
The Reptile Report
by Robyn

The Reptile Report - What the hell is wrong with people? This one makes me sick…

Florida- Three young men are charged with torturing and killing endangered tortoises last weekend in Orange County, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Michael Dublin, 20, of Jacksonville; Dalton Bothwell, 19, and a 17-year-old boy, both of Middleburg, are charged with killing and wounding a threatened species and felony cruelty to animals. The charges are third-degree felonies, and each carries a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine and five years in prison.

Wildlife officers say the trio ran over two gopher tortoises and slammed them into the ground “just to see what would happen,” while in the Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area last month.

The tortoises were still alive when officers say the suspects picked them up and “intentionally slammed them violently to the ground,” according to a news release.

Officers were patrolling the wildlife area around 2 p.m. May 27 when they found a large, injured tortoise in the roadway.

“Its upper and lower shells were cracked open, and internal organs were protruding from its sides. There was a large amount of blood on the road and the tortoise was barely alive,” the news release said. “Nearby was another, smaller tortoise. It too had a cracked shell and was surrounded by a pool of blood.”

Read the full story after the jump.

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