Gopher tortoise found branded in North Port

Investigators are looking into who branded an animal listed as threatened in the state.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said a large hand print was branded on the shell of a gopher tortoise recently.

Credit: Dawn Piner.

A clue was left behind: The names “Alex” and “Gary” are written on its shell too.

FWC says anyone who does something like this could face a felony.

The woman who found the turtle in North Port hopes they are caught soon.

“I just feel like this hand print on this tortoise, it’s a sign that people don’t care enough,” Dawn Piner said. “I was appalled to see such a thing. The animals and the environment really need our protection.”

FWC says it has not been able to capture the gopher tortoise to help it at this time.

Writer:WINK News
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