A Southwest Florida homeowner kept four gopher tortoises in a cage with no access to water during nearly 100-degree heat.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission received a report of animal cruelty. During the investigation, the homeowner in possession of the gopher tortoises admitted to collecting and keeping four of the state-listed threatened species in captivity. The homeowner has been cited with four criminal charges.
“Gopher tortoises are a protected species in Florida. It is against the law to kill, harass or destroy gopher tortoises, their eggs or burrows,” FWC said on Facebook.
The tortoises were transported to an animal hospital for rehabilitation.